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Anti Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Act

Australia has implemented the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CTF) laws to meet international standards and to help protect businesses from being misused for money laundering and terrorism financing.

As a customer seeking certain services you may be asked to verify your identity. By verifying your identity you are helping to protect Australian businesses from being misused for the purposes of criminal activity.

What are money laundering and terrorism financing?

The goal of most criminal acts is to generate a profit. Money laundering is the process of disguising the illegal origin of criminal profits. This allows criminals to access and use the dirty money obtained through crime without being detected.

Terrorist groups also move funds to disguise their source, purpose and destination. Terrorism financing includes the financing of terrorist acts, terrorists and terrorist organisations.

Money laundering and terrorism financing are serious crimes.

What are the laws?

The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 requires those providing certain financial, gambling or bullion dealing services to:

  • Identify their customers before providing those services
  • Monitor customer transactions on an ongoing basis when they provide those services
  • Clarify or update customer information including the nature of the customer's business
  • Keep records in relation to those services, and
  • Report certain transactions and suspicious matters./

Why have the laws been introduced?

The Australian Government introduced AML/CTF laws to:

  • Bring Australia's AML/CTF system into line with international standards
  • Reduce the risk of Australian businesses being misused for the purposes of money laundering or terrorism financing, and meet the needs of law enforcement agencies for targeted information about activity which may be linked to money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crimes.

Who do the laws affect?

The laws may affect customers of a number of service providers, including:

  • Banks, credit unions, building societies, lending, leasing and hire purchase companies, stored value card issuers, issuers of traveller's cheques, foreign exchange dealers, asset management companies, remittance dealers, financial planners who arrange for the issue of financial products, life insurers, superannuation funds, custodial service companies, cash couriers and securities dealers
  • The gambling sector, including casinos, bookmakers, TABs, clubs and pubs, internet and electronic gaming service providers, and
  • Bullion dealers.

When could you be affected?

As a customer you could be affected in a range of circumstances, including:

    • Opening an account with a bank or other financial institution
    • Obtaining a loan
    • Buying traveller's cheques
    • Sending, receiving or transferring funds electronically
    • Undertaking a gambling cash transaction of $10,000 or more
    • Buying or selling bullion, and
    • Withdrawing superannuation benefits.

How could you be affected?

As a customer, the business you're dealing with may need to verify your identity. The types of documents you could be asked to provide to verify your identity may vary for different transactions or services. They may also vary across different service providers.

Identification documents that you could be asked to provide include:

      • Passport
      • Birth certificate
      • Driver's licence
      • Utilities statement, or
      • A statement from a bank or other financial institution.

Businesses covered by the laws are also required to have AML/CTF programs in place, conduct ongoing monitoring of customer activity, and report suspicious matters.

As a customer, you may also be asked for additional information about your identity or your transactions, as part of a business's ongoing customer due diligence.

What happens if I do not have identification?

A business may not be able to provide the service you require if you are unable to provide the appropriate level of identification required by the business.

How will your privacy be protected?

Businesses and Australian Government agencies that are required to collect personal information under AML/CTF laws are required to handle this information in accordance with the Privacy Act 1988 (Privacy Act).

The Privacy Act regulates the collection, use, disclosure, quality and security of personal information, including for AML/CTF purposes.

Want more information?

Customer Information Line on 1800 021 037 or E-mail: customers@austrac.gov.au.