Aussie banks pay second highest level of fines

Australian banks copped $1.3 billion in infringements over the past year

Aussie banks pay second highest level of fines

Australian banks paid the second highest amount of fines from regulators by value in 2020, according to a global survey that ranked US banks in first place.

As reported in the Financial Review, the survey conducted by Finbold found US banks were hit with $14.42 billion worth of fines over the past 12 months, while Australian banks racked up $1.3 billion. According to the survey, the total amount of infringements paid by banks around the world almost doubled from $11.8 billion in 2019 to $19.9 billion in 2020.

Goldman Sachs bore the brunt of the US tally, paying $8.8 billion in penalties for its role in the 1MDB scandal, reported the Financial Review, while US banks Wells Fargo and JP Morgan came in second and third place, paying $3.9 billion and $1.3 billion in fines respectively.

Westpac’s $1.3 billion settlement with AUSTRAC came in just below the US giants and Israel’s largest bank Hapoalim followed closely behind, with a $1.2 billion fine related to hiding customer funds from the IRS.

According to the Financial Review, breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing laws featured strongly in the list of biggest fines.

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