AUSTRAC. supervision strategy

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1 AUSTRAC supervision strategy

2 Commonwealth of Australia 2012 This work is copyright. You may download, display, print and reproduce this material in unaltered form only (retaining this notice) for your personal, noncommercial use or use within your organisation. Where material has been sourced from other third-party sources, copyright continues. Disclaimer: The information contained in this document is intended only to provide a summary and general overview on these matters. It is not intended to be comprehensive. It does not constitute, nor should it be treated as, legal advice or opinions. This document may contain statements of policy which reflect AUSTRAC s administration of the legislation in carrying out its statutory functions. The Commonwealth accepts no liability for any loss suffered as a result of reliance on this publication. AUSTRAC recommends that independent professional advice be sought. The information contained herein is current as at the date of this document. December 2012 Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) PO Box 5516 West Chatswood NSW 1515

3 INTRODUCTION 1 AUSTRAC s purpose is to assist in protecting the integrity of Australia s financial system and contribute to the administration of justice through our expertise in countering money laundering and the financing of terrorism. As Australia s financial intelligence unit (FIU), AUSTRAC receives and analyses financial information. The resulting financial intelligence is disseminated to revenue, law enforcement, national security, human services, regulatory and other partner agencies in Australia and overseas. By identifying potential money laundering and terrorism financing (ML/TF) cases and providing financial intelligence, AUSTRAC enables partner agencies to detect ML/TF activity, investigate financial crimes (including tax evasion), and secure prosecutions. This supports national priorities to protect Australia s security, apprehend criminals, protect the integrity of our financial markets and maximise revenue collection. As Australia s anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing (AML/CTF) regulator, we educate, monitor and work with reporting entities to improve their compliance with the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) and Financial Transaction Reports Act 1988 (FTR Act). In some circumstances we seek to enforce compliance with these Acts through more formal mechanisms. These regulatory activities have two key goals: 1. assist reporting entities to strengthen their AML/CTF programs so their services are not used by criminals for ML/TF purposes 2. improve the quantity and quality of transaction reports received by AUSTRAC to assist the FIU and, through it, AUSTRAC s partner agencies. In AUSTRAC will continue to focus on increasing the coverage of our regulated population with emphasis on more effective targeting of our supervisory activities. During this period, in addition to our compliance activities we will also be subject to a statutory review of the AML/CTF Act and Rules and our cost recovery measures. SUPERVISION strategy

4 2 AUSTRALIA S FIU AND AML/CTF REGULATOR AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE AUSTRAC s functions AUSTRAC s dual FIU and regulator roles complement each other. Our knowledge of entities, trends and emerging concerns helps to inform regulatory efforts about vulnerable and high-risk sectors. Industry supervision is vital for promoting compliance with AML/CTF obligations, in particular the transaction reporting which forms the basis of our financial intelligence. Combining regulatory and financial intelligence also provides a more detailed picture of the money laundering and terrorism financing environment, which benefits not only our own work but also the efforts of partner agencies and other key stakeholders. Other information and intelligence People committing crimes Interact with businesses Financial institutions Bullion dealers»gambling» service providers»money» service businesses Report suspicious behaviour and transaction reports Monitor and enforce AML/CTF Act obligations AUSTRAC Regulator Financial intelligence unit Collect, analyse, disseminate financial intelligence Feedback on effectiveness of financial intelligence Revenue, law enforcement, national security and other partner agencies Identify illicit activity and apprehend people committing crimes Diagram 1: Flow of information and activities

5 OUR SUPERVISORY APPROACH Our overarching objectives are to monitor and improve reporting entities compliance with their AML/CTF obligations (particularly with regard to reporting), and to develop and maintain AUSTRAC s knowledge of the regulated population. We match our supervisory activities with the compliance behaviours and characteristics of different industry cohorts. This tailored approach to supervision maximises the effective use of our resources and achieves the greatest impact on the compliance behaviours of the regulated population. AUSTRAC categorises its supervisory activities into three levels of intensity: Low intensity or engagement activities, to help reporting entities comply with their obligations. These include providing information and tools such as the website, print publications, AUSTRAC Online and the AUSTRAC Help Desk. Moderate intensity or heightened activities such as behavioural assessments, desk reviews, themed reviews and transaction monitoring directed at specific behaviours of groups of reporting entities. High intensity or escalated activities such as on-site assessments. We tailor these activities to individual reporting entities to directly improve compliance outcomes. We will deal firmly with reporting entities in such circumstances and where these high intensity activities do not result in improved reporting entity compliance, we are likely to take enforcement action. These various activities are shown in the diagram below. 3 SUPERVISION strategy Level of intensity of supervisory activity Messages through media Behavioural reviews Desk reviews Themed reviews Comprehensive on-site assessments Remedial directions/ enforceable undertakings Low intensity high coverage High intensity low coverage Guidance, forums, presentations and speeches and letter campaigns Information gathering reviews Individual entity relationship management Enforcement consideration Civil penalties Diagram 2: Level of intensity of supervisory activity

6 4 Our supervisory structure AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE In AUSTRAC will continue to deliver its compliance activities along regional lines, with frontline teams based in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne covering all parts of Australia. These teams are supplemented by two specialist frontline compliance teams Referrals and Major Reporters. In addition there are four enabling teams which support frontline compliance activity. These are: Reporting Entity Operations, Data Research and Statistics, Planning and Strategic Initiatives and Technical Development and Advice. REPORTING ENTITIES RESPONSIBILITIES The AML/CTF Act embodies five key areas which are internationally recognised as best practice in deterring and detecting ML/TF. The regulated population is required to: 1. Conduct ML/TF risk assessments. Businesses must understand and manage the ML/TF risks they are exposed to when they provide different products and services, use different distribution channels, deal with different customers and operate in different jurisdictions. 3. Know their customers. Businesses must verify the identity of their customers, monitor their customers behaviour and keep appropriate records of these actions. Financial institutions must also appropriately identify any other financial institutions with which they do business. 4. Make themselves known to AUSTRAC. From 1 November 2011 all businesses which provide designated services must be entered onto, and maintain their entry on, the Reporting Entity Roll. All remittance service providers must also apply to be registered with AUSTRAC, including those which were registered before 1 November Report to AUSTRAC. Businesses must provide reports to AUSTRAC of cash transactions of AUD10,000 or more, instructions for international funds transfers and suspicious matters. Most must also report on their own compliance with their obligations under the AML/CTF Act through the submission of an annual compliance report. Compliance with these key obligations should result in high-quality transaction reporting to AUSTRAC and, ultimately, an Australian community hostile to money laundering and the financing of terrorism. 2. Implement systems and governance to manage their ML/TF risks. Businesses must establish appropriate oversight of ML/TF risk by senior management, ensure there is an employee due diligence program and that staff are trained to detect ML/TF behaviour and regularly review the effectiveness of their systems and compliance with their obligations.

7 Supervision Priorities for AUSTRAC s key supervision priorities for are outlined below. Priority 1 Priority 2 Priority 3 Assist reporting entities to strengthen their AML/CTF programs so their services are not used by criminals for ML/TF purposes Improve the quantity and quality of transaction reports received by AUSTRAC to assist the FIU and, through it, AUSTRAC s partner agencies Capitalise on AUSTRAC s dual role as an FIU and AML/CTF regulator Priority one: Assist reporting entities to strengthen their AML/CTF programs so their services are not used by criminals for ML/TF purposes Remediating anomalous compliance behaviour through supervision activities across all industry sectors Over AUSTRAC will analyse transaction reporting data submitted by reporting entities to guide its supervisory activity. When a reporting entity s reporting behaviour is found to be anomalous that is, inconsistent with that expected by AUSTRAC for its industry cohort or for the industry sector as a whole AUSTRAC will seek an explanation from the reporting entity to determine the basis for this behaviour. Our primary focus will be on non-reporting or underreporting of financial transactions, as well as the quality of information provided by reporting entities in their transaction reports. 5 SUPERVISION strategy Priority 4 Priority 5 Continue to build supervision infrastructure to support future compliance activities Improve our measurement of effectiveness by better identifying shifts in compliance behaviours by reporting entities AUSTRAC will continue to focus on detailed analysis of AML/CTF compliance reports submitted by reporting entities. We will look to identify trends and deficiencies within those reporting entities AML/CTF programs, as well as testing the validity and accuracy of the AML/CTF compliance report responses provided by entities. The compliance activities AUSTRAC undertakes will depend on: AML/CTF risk associated with a reporting entity and the designated services it offers In AUSTRAC will undertake a range of activities to support the achievement of its key priorities. These are outlined below under each key priority. nature and scale of the issue impact of the issue on the accuracy of AUSTRAC s intelligence data holdings resources available»» the compliance history of the reporting entity and willingness to cooperate

8 6 nature of the industry, including its competitiveness, maturity, compliance attitudes and level of support available through industry associations. AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE Where a reporting entity displays ongoing recalcitrance AUSTRAC may escalate the matter and take enforcement action. Providing tailored guidance and education to industry sectors, particularly smaller, less resourced businesses In AUSTRAC will continue to focus on assisting reporting entities to meet their obligations by providing: information via the website, printed materials, AUSTRAC Online and the Help Desk industry workshops aimed at assisting reporting entities to strengthen their awareness and understanding of their AML/CTF obligations mail-out campaigns to remind reporting entities of their obligations and alert them to any changes in the regulatory framework published industry guides, where appropriate forums to engage with major reporters and financial and gambling industries. In addition, AUSTRAC is undertaking a comprehensive review of the AUSTRAC Regulatory Guide and supporting guidance. The review will update, consolidate and streamline existing guidance material on the AUSTRAC website, and is anticipated to be completed by mid Managing compliance with mandatory enrolment of reporting entities From 1 November 2011 new enrolment requirements were introduced under the AML/CTF Act. These obligations are that: All reporting entities must enrol with AUSTRAC and provide prescribed enrolment details. All new reporting entities need to enrol within 28 days of providing or commencing to provide a designated service covered under the AML/CTF Act. All reporting entities need to keep their enrolment details up-to-date and advise AUSTRAC of a change in their enrolment details within 14 days of the change. Enrolment information provides AUSTRAC with a more accurate understanding of its regulated population. This is particularly important for identifying which reporting entities are subject to the annual AUSTRAC supervisory levy and the amount of the levy which will apply to each leviable reporting entity. As at 30 June 2012, 8,444 reporting entities were enrolled with AUSTRAC. We will continue to ensure that all entities which provide a designated service are enrolled, as well as continuously refining the integrity of the enrolment data. AUSTRAC will continue to streamline and enhance the enrolment process for reporting entities. In particular, improvements are being made to the online enrolment processes.

9 Priority two: Improve the quantity and quality of transaction reports received by AUSTRAC to assist the FIU and, through it, AUSTRAC s partner agencies Improving the quality, timing and volume of reporting AUSTRAC closely monitors the timing, volume and quality of reports received from reporting entities. Where AUSTRAC identifies issues with a reporting entity s reporting performance, the entity is required to address those issues. Issues may include poor data quality, late submission of reports or anomalies in the volume of reports submitted. AUSTRAC will continue to work with reporting entities across a range of industry sectors to identify and address data integrity, volume and timing issues. Enhancing Analytical Capability project The integrity of AUSTRAC s data holdings will be improved with the introduction of new tools to enhance general and macro data analysis and data mining. These tools form part of our Enhanced Analytical Capability project. The project will: enable us to produce higher quality and more timely financial intelligence for partner agencies and other stakeholders, including industry enable us to streamline our internal data analysis operations to improve efficient and effective use of resources improve our ability to analyse the quality of transaction reports and provide timely feedback to reporting entities. Longer term it is expected that these tools will assist reporting entities to enhance their own capacity to monitor and analyse reporting trends and behaviours. Priority three: Capitalise on AUSTRAC s dual role as an FIU and AML/CTF regulator By working closely with the Intelligence arm of AUSTRAC, our Supervisory function will capitalise on the agency s dual role as Australia s FIU and AML/CTF regulator. This will lead to more informed regulatory activity and provide added value to our partner agencies in the form of enhanced financial intelligence products. Responding to FIU and partner agency requests for assistance through provision of timely information and reviews of reporting entities activities In our supervision activities will include focusing on areas of concern identified by the AUSTRAC FIU or partner agencies. Examples may include closer scrutiny of the remittance sector, examining industry behaviour to identify specific AML/CTF typologies such as trade-based money laundering, and testing reporting entity implementation of anti-corruption measures for politically exposed persons (PEPS). Continuing to implement enhanced regulation of the remittance sector in conjunction with partner agencies AUSTRAC will continue to implement the enhanced regulation of the remittance sector in conjunction with partner agencies. This will include: development of processes and systems to streamline remitter registration ensuring all remittance providers are registered on the Remittance Sector Register publication of an automated Remittance Sector Register which will replace the current interim register targeting specific risks such as people smuggling»» publication of specific guidance to assist remitters to meet their obligations. 7 SUPERVISION strategy

10 8 Priority four: Continue to enhance Supervisory infrastructure to support future compliance activities AUSTRALIAN TRANSACTION REPORTS AND ANALYSIS CENTRE Review of the AML/CTF compliance reporting framework In 2012 we commenced a review of AUSTRAC s compliance reporting framework to determine the effectiveness of the current regime and identify possible areas for improvement. The project is being undertaken in four phases and includes opportunities for industry consultation. It is proposed that the redesigned AML/CTF compliance report will be underpinned by the following principles: risk-based approach a balanced impact on reporting entities that is, it should not impose unnecessary burden dynamic that is, capable of being altered to meet future needs and a changing external environment integrated with AUSTRAC s other data holdings. Review of cost recovery measures AUSTRAC implemented its cost recovery measures in the financial year. AUSTRAC is required to review these measures periodically. In 2013 the agency will undertake a statutory review of the cost recovery regime. We will also continue to refine operational policies, processes and procedures with the aim of streamlining both collection of the supervisory levy and provision of waivers and disputes. Industry consultation will form an integral part of the review and the ongoing implementation process. Priority five: Improve our measurement of effectiveness by better identifying shifts in compliance behaviours by reporting entities AUSTRAC will measure effectiveness by monitoring reporting entities compliance with their obligations under the AML/CTF Act. If AUSTRAC s supervisory strategies have been effective a positive and sustainable change in reporting entities compliance behaviours will be evident. Data Integrity Strategic Framework During AUSTRAC will review the management of its information. This includes data holdings relating to reporting entities such as transaction reports, compliance reports, business profile information and records of reporting entity engagement. The integrity of this data is critical to AUSTRAC s primary role in assisting partner agencies to detect money laundering and the financing of terrorism. Help Desk review AUSTRAC s Help Desk function is currently under review to ensure the agency continues to provide a timely and high quality service for its reporting entities. The review is being conducted in a staged approach with completion planned for AUSTRAC will gauge this by comparing indicative data with industry cohorts and other relevant data using an internal framework which tracks changes in a number of observable compliance behaviours of reporting entities. Observable compliance behaviours which will be measured include: transaction report lodgement compliance report lodgement compliance reporting content compliance assessment outcomes fulfilment of compliance requirements issued from assessments»» mandatory enrolment and registration of remitters.

11 MEASURING THE VALUE WE ADD 9 The value added by AUSTRAC s Supervisory function can be measured by the extent to which we: improve the integrity (both quantity and quality) of transaction reports received by AUSTRAC to assist the FIU and AUSTRAC s partner agencies assist reporting entities to strengthen their AML/CTF programs against the use of their services by criminals for ML/TF purposes SUPERVISION strategy minimise the possibility that AUSTRAC fails to act on information indicating a breach in a reporting entity s compliance regime support AUSTRAC s commitment to international conventions including but not limited to the Financial Action Task Force (the FATF), Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG), the Wolfsberg Group and the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units. At an operational level, the measures of successful supervisory activity will continue to be the breadth (i.e. the number of actively engaged reporting entities) and depth (i.e. the volume and quality) of compliance behaviours across the regulated population. The efficacy of Australia s AML/CTF regime (including AUSTRAC) will be evaluated in the FATF Mutual Evaluation which will occur in Similarly, AUSTRAC s effectiveness and efficiency will be considered as part of the statutory review of the AML/CTF Act to commence in 2013.

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