Investigation of Westpac Banking Corp.
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Westpac Banking Corp. Inc. (WBK) Accused of Misleading Shareholders
According to the complaint for alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between November 11, 2015 and November 19, 2019, throughout the relevant period, Westpac Banking Corp. Inc. (WBK) continuously affirmed it was operating in accordance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing (“AML/CTF”) Act of 2006 and had a program to manage these obligations. Despite these purported efforts, in November 2018, Westpac revealed in its 2018 Form 20-F that it had recently self-reported to AUSTRAC, Australia’s anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulator, a failure to report a large number of International Funds Transfer Instructions, which the Company downplayed in a May 2019 conference call as “a few regulatory and compliance issues.” Then, on November 19, 2019, AUSTRAC filed a civil action against Westpac alleging over 23 million breaches of AML/CTF legislation, including a failure to report 19.5 million in international fund transfer and failing to carry out due diligence checks that potentially led Westpac to provide services used in the exploitation of children. On this news, Westpac ADRs fell 7.13% to close at $16.67 per ADR.