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Australia Clears Some Banks

Australia Clears Some BanksAustralia Clears Some Banks

Australia’s money-laundering regulator has found no breaches similar to those of the country’s biggest mortgage lender, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, at other major banks, after a check of their systems, a top official said on Friday, Reuters reported. Financial intelligence agency Austrac this month launched a civil lawsuit against CBA—Australia’s biggest bank by market value—for “serious and systemic” breaches of money laundering rules. CBA has said it is preparing a defense, while adding that it would never deliberately undertake action that enables crime. “We’ve looked at the other banks in particular and we have not identified the same issues with the other banks,” Peter Clark, the agency’s acting chief executive, told parliament, when asked if it was looking at extending its investigation. Australia’s four major banks—CBA, Westpac, ANZ Banking Group and National Australia Bank—are highly profitable and among a handful of highly-rated financial institutions in the world. The legal proceedings against CBA are “credit negative”, Fitch Ratings said in a separate announcement on Friday.

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