Financial Services Update

In this edition

  • AUSTRAC takes first steps towards streamlining the AML/CTF Rules
  • AUSTRAC is jumping into the sandbox to offer assistance to FinTechs and startups
  • AML/CTF Independent Reviews – the countdown is on
  • CompliSpace Responsible Manager Training Workshops: Melbourne and Sydney in December

AUSTRAC takes first steps towards streamlining the AML/CTF Rules

Back in May, the Attorney General’s Department submitted its Report on the Statutory Review of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 and Associated Rules and Regulations which made a number of recommendations regarding improvements to the AML/CTF Regime in Australia. The summary of the recommendations can be found here.

In October, the Attorney General’s Department  announced that it will be undertaking a staged approach to implementing recommendations from the Review and provided a high level overview of key actions and time frames. A summary of the time frames for implementing the recommendations can be accessed here.

This week AUSTRAC announcement that the first cab off the rank will be the restructure of the current AML/CTF Rules. AUSTRAC is looking to simplify the Rules, a welcome and long overdue change given the current framework consists of over 70 Chapters! The restructure will include:

  • grouping like chapters together, for example, all the exemption chapters;
    • redrafting the chapters to remove redundant and repetitive text and adding headings to chapters; and
    • providing simplified outlines for some chapters to aid stakeholders in understanding their obligations.

A summary of the proposed changes is below.

Customer Due Diligence – recommendation 5
  • The AML Rules for CDD should be rationalised and simplified as a priority.
  • AUSTRAC should consider other reliable options as alternatives to minimum know your customer requirements for individuals.
  • Rationalise safe harbour and simplified verification procedures.
  • Expand simplified CDD to low risk entities.
  • Permit self-attestation to identify customers in certain circumstances.
  • Permit entities to accept certified disclosure certificates.
  • Expand ability of entities to use third party customer ID under certain conditions.
Chapters 4, 8, 9, 15 and 30.
AML/CTF Programs – recommendation 7
Incorporate AUSTRAC information on high ML/TF risk, clarify the role of a Compliance Officer, guarantee the independence of an AML/CTF program reviewer and require reporting entities to manage ML/TF risk posed by new technologies. Chapters 6, 8, 9, 15.
Rec 7.5: Replace designated business groups. Chapters 2, 7, 9, 50.
Definitions- recommendation 19
Amend definitions in the Rules. Chapters 1, 21 and 36.


AUSTRAC is seeking stakeholder views on the proposed approach and public consultation period is open until 28 December 2016.

It looks like 2017 will be an interesting year for AML/CTF.

AUSTRAC is jumping into the sandbox to offer assistance to FinTechs and startups

In recognition of the growing FinTech industry in Australia, AUSTRAC has launched a new service assists FinTechs and startups understand the AML/CTF regulatory framework and importantly how it may affect their business. The service which can be accessed through an online portal via AUSTRAC website and requires some basic information such as your business location and the services provided to customers.

It’s great to see the Federal Government getting behind innovation and being an enabler rather than a barrier.

AML/CTF Independent Reviews – the countdown is on

AML/CTF legislative regimes require that a reporting entity’s AML/CTF programs are periodically reviewed to ensure they remain relevant to the ML/TF risks faced, are complaint with legal and regulatory obligations and expectations, have been adequately implemented and adopted throughout your business.  If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to review your AML/CTF program and to organise an independent review and/or risk awareness training. An independent review is a useful exercise which can provide valuable insight into your compliance and risk management activities and how your business is operating within the AML/CTF framework. Our AML/CTF experts are engaged to complete numerous external independent reviews and in house training sessions each year, across all reporting entity types.  CompliSpace assists its clients to unravel the complexities in this area, providing a full suite of AML/CTF services, ranging from external independent reviews, in-house training, AML/CTF Program design and KYC services.

For more information contact James Cozens

CompliSpace Responsible Manager Training Workshops: Melbourne and Sydney

CompliSpace is running High Impact Training for Financial Services Executives On-The-Go in Melbourne on 14 December and Sydney on 16 December.

If you are an AFSL holder, you must ensure that your responsible managers and representatives receive ongoing training. Our interactive, “on-the-go” workshops are designed to keep you up-to-date with the latest industry changes, real-life case studies and exercises and fast-track the practical development of new knowledge and skills.

Training is delivered in an interactive workshop environment providing attendees with:

  • a simple framework for understanding your core AFSL obligations;
  • practical guidance on current regulatory issues and trends; and
  • CPD points for attendees.

To learn more and to register click here for the Melbourne Workshop and here for the Sydney Workshop.

This blog is a guide to keep readers updated with the latest information. It is not intended as legal advice or as advice that should be relied on by readers. The information contained in this blog may have been updated since its posting, or it may not apply in all circumstances. Please contact us on (02) 9299 6105  with your query and we will be happy to assist.

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