Money Laundering Scandal At Australia's Largest Bank Triggers Another Call For Ban On Cash

Authored by Mike Shedlock via,

Ian Narev, the CEO of Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the nation’s largest bank is set to step down amid money laundering charges.

Money laundering is big business in Australia because regulations do not cover lawyers, real estate agents, accountants, and CEOs ignoring warnings from police.

Despite the obvious problem, it’s cash itself that gets the blame.

There are several stories here buts let’s start with Australia’s Biggest Bank Says CEO Will Retire Amid Money-Laundering Scandal.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia Chief Executive Officer Ian Narev will step down by the end of June 2018 as the nation’s largest lender seeks to mitigate the fallout from a money-laundering scandal.


Pressure is building on Commonwealth Bank amid allegations by the nation’s financial crimes agency that drug syndicates used its network of deposit machines to launder cash, despite warnings from police. The nation’s securities regulator opened its own inquiry last week and the governor of the central bank called for accountability in the banking industry, which is beset by a string of scandals.


Narev, 50, has presided over a market-topping stock price since he took the helm at the start of December 2011. Last week, he delivered the lender’s eighth consecutive record profit.


His achievements have been overshadowed by the money-laundering allegations — the third major public-relations scandal he has faced as CEO. The bank has paid A$29 million ($23 million) in compensation to customers who were allegedly given poor financial advice, and has faced accusations it wrongly failed to honor insurance claims to sick clients.


The financial crime agency, Austrac, alleges that Commonwealth Bank failed to report either on time or at all suspicious transactions through its network of automated cash deposit machines totaling more than A$624 million, and it failed to monitor the activities of drug syndicates even after being alerted by police. The bank has blamed most of the breaches on a software coding error which has since been fixed.


The allegations are the latest in a series of scandals in Australia’s banking industry, ranging from giving poor advice to wealth-management customers to allegations the nation’s three other biggest banks manipulated a benchmark swap rate.

Moral of the Story

With share prices high after three scandals, the moral of the story must be CEO crimes pay. What other lesson could there possibly be?

Australia a ‘Place of Choice’ for Money Laundering

Please consider Australia a ‘place of choice’ for money laundering due to lack of regulation.

Australia’s hot property market is an attractive haven for criminals, with estimates that billions of dollars of dirty money is being laundered through residential property.


Australia’s anti-money laundering law does not cover real estate agents, lawyers and accountants, despite promises when the law was enacted in 2006 that the legislation would be widened.


ANZ’s head of financial crime, Guy Boyd, is scathing of the failure of subsequent governments to extend the legislation.


Australia’s housing market has been targeted by money launderers from countries including Papua New Guinea, Malaysia and China.

Let’s Blame Money Itself

Given than scandals provide perfect cover to place the blame on innocent people and innocent things, no one should be surprised by this outcome: CBA Scandal Blamed on ‘Outdated’ Banknotes.

The Commonwealth Bank money-laundering scandal has given ammunition to the anti-cash crusade, with one analyst asking whether “outdated” $100 and $50 notes are the “root of the problem”.


The nation’s largest bank is facing allegations of more than 53,000 breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws, the majority relating to large cash deposits made at CommBank ATMs.


In a note earlier this month, UBS analyst Jonathan Mott said the CommBank scandal raised “four critical questions”.


“Is the root of the problem the outdated high denomination cash notes?” he wrote. “Should Australia move to phase out cash given its role in the black economy (including: proceeds of crime, money laundering, tax avoidance, welfare fraud)?”


  1. The CEO of CBA, Ian Narev, has been involved in three major scandals.

  2. Large, suspicious real estate transactions went through without a hitch.

  3. Large, repetitive, cash deposits at ATMs raised no red flags.

  4. Narev was warned by police that the ATMs were used for money laundering.

  5. The CBA ignored 53,000 breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws.

  6. People are asking if the root of the problem is outdated high denomination cash notes.

War on Cash – How Twisted Minds Function

The Black Economy Taskforce’s final report is due in October. Gee, I can hardly wait.

Meanwhile, please consider War on Cash Proposals in Australia: Microchip Expiring $100 Bills, Forcing People to Keep Receipts

In an unrelated nonsensical idea from down under, also consider How Twisted Minds Function.


Manthong AtATrESICI Mon, 08/14/2017 - 18:57 Permalink

  Gosh,  I love Australia… mass the size of the continental US.. great climate except tor the mice explosions…. ……population only that of California… mostly all living within a few dozen klicks of the coast…….   Only ……       subservient to a prison management mind-set government. ...a little history research will do the tell

In reply to by AtATrESICI

fulliautomatix Manthong Mon, 08/14/2017 - 19:27 Permalink

Pretty much - you left out the bit about the flora and fauna that will do anything and everything it can to poison or eat you if you're not mindful of it. Our species of .gov isn't indigenous, but it's just as lethal. Happily, it is for the most part staffed by ordinary people: sure, they pass more idiotic legislation than is desirable, but if they aren't competent to foresee the outcomes of doing so, they're unlikely to be able to deal with even the expected outcomes. Amending or repealing legislation is nigh on impossible as it requires the legitimate accounting of sunk costs. A leader finds itself in a place where it knows it has to do something, make a decision. The reality is that any decision is better than none, that the circumstances imposed from without will continue to play and life will or will not go on. So, "Thataway!" is the cry and all forge forth. Some go in the indicated direction. When the immediate shitstorm has cleared, and all the survivors have gathered once more at the leader's side, it is then noted that the surrounds consist of a walled swamp populated by all manner of benighted denizen delighting in the prospect of a well-sauced nibble. If the leader has been lucky with its first decision, the one that got the crowd into the cesspit, a choice now becomes apparent - remain or move on. The Rock is a long way from anywhere. 

In reply to by Manthong

mrtoad Manthong Mon, 08/14/2017 - 19:29 Permalink

We never signed the sovereign nation treaty. The UK signed on behalf of the Commonwealth. We are still a colony of England and owned by England (the queen). Many people want to become a republic but they dont understand we will have to buy it off England or fight for independence. Many people believe China are buying up our farmland when in actual fact its Englands farmland.

In reply to by Manthong

gregga777 Mon, 08/14/2017 - 17:35 Permalink

Instead of prosecuting and imprisoning the criminals with the cash and the Anglo-Zionist banking gangsters that launder the cash the Anglo-Zionists want cash punished.

rejected Mon, 08/14/2017 - 17:49 Permalink

Lets see, Banks like this Australian POS, the HSBC are all involved in money laundering. How about those pallets of crisp new $100 notes flown to Iraq and lost.So it's only logical to remove cash to keep the banks honest. LOL.What the hell happened to the common sense Australians used to have in abundance? Did that go with the guns?

hanekhw Mon, 08/14/2017 - 17:58 Permalink

It's ALL about control and taxation. I imagine Neatherthals had to use the chief's 'brokers' when they traded the rocks they used for everything. You know, the ancestors of modern Australia.

Albertarocks Mon, 08/14/2017 - 18:04 Permalink

Australia is quickly becoming one of the worst and most dangerous countries in which to live if you have 2 cents to rub together.  I have never seen any country in my entire life that is so willing to lick the asses of the banking class who tells them when to jump and how high.

Ed Jobb (not verified) Mon, 08/14/2017 - 18:17 Permalink

What a bunch of crap...Transfers cash or digital of 10k or moar areautomatically tracked here by our tax office.Especially when it comes to realestate.

Stormtrooper Mon, 08/14/2017 - 18:27 Permalink

Hope you Aussies have been using your property gains to purchase lots of PMs to use as money as the world devolves around you.  Americans are hopeless so only about 2% of our population gets it.  Let's see, 2% survival rate out of 350 million Americans, oh maff is so hard!