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The financial intelligence agency has announced AUSTRAC has entered a new partnership with a UK counterpart to fight fraud.
The Anglo-Australian mission to fight fraud has been improved as AUSTRAC signs a new agreement with a similar body in the UK. The MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed with both FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) on 16th February and HMRC (His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) on 20th February.
The partnership is described as a clear signal to the ongoing commitment to “fight money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious crime”, the collaboration helped cement AUSTRAC ’s partnership with the UK “to intensify [the] fight against financial crime,” it explained.
The MoU was signed in London by Nicole Rose, the Chief Executive of AUSTRAC, and Nikhil Rahi, the Chief Executive of FCA.
In the meeting, officials from both authorities shared the aim of enhancing engagements for regulatory issues such as exchanging information and improving the shared understanding of new trends, risks, and business compliance that operate in both the UK and Australia. In addition, the agreement with HMRC’s Simon York and AUSTRAC’s Ms Rose will create opportunities via the exchange of regulatory information.
This will “strengthen operational collaboration between the two agencies,” and significantly “could result in joint anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing supervision,” the entities explained.
According to AUSTRAC, the new “strong risk-based supervision” is crucial to ensure the industry’s effective implementation of AML/CFT controls. It added that these MOUs will “support improved supervisory practices and tools and facilitate enhanced monitoring of businesses operating across both jurisdictions.”
Ms Rose added, “In our interconnected global environment, criminal and national security threats transcend borders, which is why Austrac is committed to working with international partners to exchange information and pool resources to combat financial crime,”
HMRC director of the Fraud Investigation Service, Simon York, said: “This MOU will help our countries share information and intelligence in our joint fight against money laundering and terrorist financing, building on our already successful working relationship.”
“I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Australian government, using this MOU to understand better businesses that work across our two nations and better protect our countries from serious and organised crime,” he explained.
The MoUs of FCA and HMRC are followed by AUSTRAC’s partnership with Great Britain Gambling Commission in January 2020, complementing the financial intelligence-focused MoU with the UK National Crime Agency.