Money laundering fine and Covid-19 cause 66% profit free fall for Westpac

From: RegTech Analyst

The trials of the coronavirus pandemic and the $910m fine for breaking Australia’s money laundering laws have caused a 66% drop in Westpac’s profits.

The bank has reported that $1.6bn in profits this year. At the same time the cash earnings came in at $1.82bn, slumping from $2.94bn last year. In total, revenues dropped by 2% to $14bn.

The Australian attributed the slump tp Covid-19 and “its own issues”, which included the hefty $910m bill it had to pay for breaching the country’s the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 over 23 million times.

The news about breaches to the legislation reached the wire in November 2019. As a result of the scandal, both the bank’s chairman and CEO had to step down.

The bank also had to face several lawsuits on the back of the scandal.

In September this year, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac) and Westpac came to an agreement with Westpac to settle the AML and counter-terrorism financing allegations.

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