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Know your customer – or face $11 million fine

Suspicious transactions will now be monitored in line with new anti-money laundering laws in place today. All businesses that deal in financial transactions, especially banks, casinos and other gaming agencies, will need to implement programs to stop illegal activities such as identity fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing.

The new laws include strict identity checks for transactions valued above $10,000, including cashless, non face-to-face and electronic transactions. Any suspicious transactions are to be reported to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (Austrac).
While a boon for regulators, the laws will mean an extra layer of compliance for companies who will need to train staff on proper identity checks and reporting procedures.
Austrac CEO Neil Jensen says businesses will just need to answer one question: 'Is you customer really the person that you believe them to be?’ A fine of up to $11 million applies to businesses that cannot identify their customers.

The laws will be extended to lawyers, accountants and real estate agents this time next year.

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