On 17 December 2020, the Federal Government passed the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020 to support AUSTRAC, and respond to recommendations stemming from the Government’s 2016 statutory review of the AML/CTF Act.
The objective of this Amendment Bill is to simplify reporting and improve inter-government information sharing. The reforms came into effect from 17 June 2021.
These changes, informally known as “Tranche 1.5”, still only relate to those entities captured by Tranche 1, including providers of financial, bullion, and gaming/gambling services.
The changes fall short of covering a wider group of industries and gatekeeper professions that can be exploited by criminals to launder money, such as lawyers, accountants and real estate agents. Reform to include these professions has been discussed for many years, and is expected to be announced in the future.
So what are the changes?
Ultimately, Tranche 1.5 brings about four new changes with the aim of helping businesses streamline their compliance, and also to ensure all bases are covered when it comes to protecting your business from the financial, penalty-based and reputational impacts of money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crimes.
Below is a snapshot of what each change relates to, and AUSTRAC’s expectations for meeting your obligations.
Each reporting entity is unique in its money laundering and terrorism financing risk exposure. Therefore it is critical for reporting entities to ensure their risk assessment is reflective of this, whereby risks and controls are clearly identified, articulated and appropriately managed.
Our team helps clients by undertaking risk assessments, writing Anti-Money Laundering programs, reviewing internal controls and risk profiles, assessing third party supplier exposure points, reviewing employee policies and training, monitoring enforceable undertakings, and implementing remediation post-issue. We take a practical approach to ML/TF risk assessments to ensure organisations are able to sufficiently address and manage higher risk areas of the business.