CBA says “software error”. Insider says “no one gave a rat’s arse”

by Michael West | Aug 11, 2017 | Despatch, Finance & Tax

A Commonwealth Bank insider has rejected the bank’s claims that a “software error” caused its systematic money-laundering. Rather, it was due to management incompetence and a culture in which compliance ran a poor second to profit.

The person, who does not wish to be identified, said bank executives were warned about system problems involving the the interface with AUSTRAC but said, “No one gave a rat’s arse”.

“Compliance always comes last in CBA and it is frequently and quietly dropped, overlooked and omitted,” said the person. “As for this “software error” … haha”.

In response to questions from, a CBA spokesman said: We’re currently reviewing the statement of claim.

“All of our statements in relation to the matter are available here –

“We can’t offer any additional information at this time.”

CBA, which handed down a record $10 billion profit result this week, is the subject of a lawsuit by the money-laundering and counter terrorism watchdog AUSTRAC which alleges the bank presided over more than 53,000 breaches of Australia’s money-laundering and counter terror-financing laws (AML-CTF).

At the heart of the claims is the alleged misuse of the bank’s intelligent deposit machines, which can take deposits of up to $20,000 at a time. Criminal gangs routinely washed large amounts of money through CBA’s IDM machines.

The CBA source said the breaches would not have occurred if the “end-to-end” testing had been properly done, that is the E2E systems testing between the bank’s interface, the warehouse and AUSTRAC.

Australia was recently criticised by the Financial Actions Task Force (FATF) – the international body charged with ensuring nations comply with money laundering and counter terrorism financing standards – for failing to comply. The exclusive here:

Australia on watch-list as China billions pour into property

Michael West established Michael West Media in 2016 to focus on journalism of high public interest, particularly the rising power of corporations over democracy. West was formerly a journalist and editor with Fairfax newspapers, a columnist for News Corp and even, once, a stockbroker.

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