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Peter Dutton says Westpac’s $1.3 billion fine a message to banks

Westpac will pay a $1.3 billion fine, the largest in Australia’s corporate history, to settle a case brought by the financial crimes regulator.

The bank had admitted to breaching the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act more than 23 million times.

AUSTRAC said the breaches included suspicious transactions associated with possible child exploitation, and a failure to assess risks of money laundering and terrorism financing.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told Ray Hadley this should be a message to all banks.

“We’re taking these matters very seriously, and we want to know if people are sending money to Al-Qaeda or if they’re sending money to crime syndicates.

“The banks have got a moral obligation, and an obligation under the law, to make those reports in a timely way.”

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Image: Getty