find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Privacy fears over AML reform

Privacy fears over AML reform

PROPOSED CHANGES to the Financial Transactions Reporting Act (FTR) should not be rushed through prior to the Federal Government’s reform of anti-money laundering laws (AML), the Office of the…

PROPOSED CHANGES to the Financial Transactions Reporting Act (FTR) should not be rushed through prior to the Federal Government’s reform of anti-money laundering laws (AML), the Office of the Privacy Commissioner has warned.

The Privacy Commissioner is concerned that Government plans to amend the FTR Act before the consultation process for the AML reforms is complete will have a severe impact on the effectiveness of the new AML regime.

“The effective implementation of legislative measures to counter money-laundering and the financing of terrorist activities will depend in large part on the willing cooperation of the business community in providing critical financial data to law enforcement agencies,” officials from the Office wrote in a submission to the Senate enquiry on new terrorism laws.

“This in turn will be underpinned by the understanding and confidence on the part of the community as to what happens to their financial data. The Office is concerned about the consequences of bringing forward the amendments to the FTR Act before the planned consultation process for the proposed AML Bill. Such an outcome may produce an unintended loss of community and business confidence in the anti-mony laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework.”

While the Government has quelled some of the concerns of business over the upcoming rules, after a series of delays in publishing the exposure draft resulted in Australia’s non-compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) recommendations on money laundering, observers said Australia cannot afford further alienation. FATF is a France-based global body responsible for setting global standards on anti-money laundering.

The amendments to the FTR Act require community support to work effectively. The first amendment covers the registration of information networks widely used for the transmission of money. Informal networks, or underground banking systems as they are often referred to, are increasingly being seen as a conduit for money laundering and terrorist financing.

At present, under the FTR Act and the US Patriot Act, the sector continues to flourish and remains largely off the radar of the authorities. Meanwhile, a recent paper authored by Rob McCusker, a research analyst at the Australian Institute of Criminology (AIC), said attempts to regulate the sector could drive it further underground, increasing the potential for money laundering and terrorist financing out of reach of government.

The FTR Act amendment requires registration of the networks.

Additionally, the amendments will require customer data to be included in all international funds transfers and a requirement for trans-border couriers to prepare reports for Austrac about the person on whose behalf they are carrying various instruments.

While the Privacy Commissioner does not oppose the amendments, there is concern over the timing. “The Office is concerned about the consequences of bringing forward the amendments to the FTR Act before the planned consultation process for the proposed AML Bill,” the submission said.

“Such an outcome may produce an unintended loss of community and business confidence in the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework. Rather than the amendments to the FTR Act being made at this time, the Office recommends that Schedule 9 remain the subject of the careful consultation and assessment process being undertaken by the Minister for Justice and Customs and his department as part of the AML reform agenda.”

Stuart Fagg is the Editor of Risk Management magazine, Lawyers Weeklys sister publication.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Privacy fears over AML reform
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
microphone
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
protest
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Blocked
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...