Trigger warning and disclosure.
TAFKAS is not an employee of Westpac or of any bank. TAFKAS does not directly own and Westpac or any other bank shares – he probably owns them via ETFs but not directly.
Here are some things to consider around the Westpac/Austrac matter; things that don’t seem to have received much or any ventilation.
- It is alleged that Westpac failed to report some 23 million transaction to Austrac over many years, possibly 7 years(?). Ok. Where then was Austrac? There are 4 majors in Australia and several other banks. Did not Austrac notice that Westpac was reporting a disproportionately lower number of transactions? Does not Austrac have any accountability for failing to notice Westpac’s under reporting?
- As TAFKAS understands, the not reported transactions in question were almost entirely overseas transactions. The way that works is that Westpac has a correspondent bank (Standard Chartered was apparently one of the banks to whom Westpac’s transactions weren’t reported). Much like it takes 2 to tango, it takes 2 banks to facilitate an overseas transfer. Thus whatever Westpac sent, another bank received. Where is the commentary on the other banks, including those who actually provide banking services to the providers of the suspect content? Where is the commentary around the Austrac equivalent regulators overseas?
- Westpac is not the police. Westpac’s role is not to find and stop alleged improper and illegal behaviour. That is the role of the police agencies. Westpac’s role is to provide data to Austrac. To suggest that Westpac has enabled criminal behaviour is like saying that car manufacturers are responsible for all road fatalities.
TAFKAS is not suggesting that Westpac is clean in this matter, if what is alleged is proven. But a bit of perspective. Please.