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Fintech Australia Blames Austrac Online Limited Capacity Budget Cuts

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Fintech Australia has called the burden on Australian anti-money laundering and terrorist financing (AML / CTF) regulators “unjustifiable” due to limited resources and technology budgets provided by the government.

These remarks were made in connection with Fintech Australia’s submission for a Senate inquiry into the adequacy and effectiveness of Australia’s AML / CFT regime.

The FinTech industry body said the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Center (Austrac), Australia’s AML / CTF regulator, has struggled to respond to and rely on various regulatory reports it receives for resource and technology budgeting reasons.

According to Fintech Australia, these “data-rich” reports could result in “actionable insights and intelligence” that both keep Austrac informed and give the regulator more information to help them provide feedback to institutions.

“Austrac’s inability to respond to and rely on these reports is simply the result of their resource and technology budget out of step with the task of synthesizing this number of complex reports into actionable information and intelligence. “Fintech Australia wrote in its submission.

He highlighted the limited investment in Austrac Online – the regulator’s front-end system through which reporting entities must submit reports, and Austrac’s back-end systems.

“While Austrac is currently investing in improving these systems, the fact remains that this comes after reporting entities have invested hundreds of millions of dollars on their own in an attempt to streamline the reporting process,” while Austrac Online still cannot adequately respond to Apple Mac computers or the Google Chrome internet browser, “he wrote.

Fintech Australia also claimed that Australia lags behind other countries, such as New Zealand and the UK, in its AML / CTF capabilities due to limited resources and technology budgets. For this reason, Fintech Australia said there is a distinct theme of foreign nationals buying real estate in Australia for the purpose of investment or tax evasion, rather than a genuine interest in using the property.

“While the emphasis is on the requirement of reporting entities to identify ultimate beneficial owners and verify the source of funds and client wealth, it appears that the fact that foreign nationals are transferring large sums of money in Australia and fit into our financial system without being subjected to the same rigorous checks and balances as other people is not proportionate and seemingly selective of a specific cohort of wealthy people, ”he wrote.

Fintech Australia noted, however, that this claim was based more on observations than empirical evidence.

Last week, Fintech Australia CEO Rebecca Schot-Guppy told a separate Senate committee that 150 of her organization’s members were debunked by banks and financial institutions in Australia, with no reason or opportunity to appeal. of the decision.

“I have at least 40 anecdotal issues, but I would say there are at least 150 that have been dropped over time,” Rebecca Schot-Guppy told the Special Committee on Australia as a Tech Hub and financial.

Schot-Guppy attributed the bank’s abolition to AML / CFT concerns and anti-competitive behavior by the banks.

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