The Government’s new anti-money laundering regulations don’t tell consumers what’s money laundering and what isn’t, Labor has said.
The Federal Government has released a new anti bank money laundering regulation that aims to “strengthen the ability of financial institutions to conduct business in Australia”, the ABC understands.
“We want to make sure that financial institutions are acting in the best interests of the community, and the new regulations will help ensure that they do,” Minister for Finance Josh Frydenberg said in a statement.
Frydenberg announced the new regulation on Wednesday, saying the government was “proud to be leading the world in addressing the problem of money laundering”.
The new regulations are designed to protect financial institutions from criminal activities, and allow them to be more transparent and accountable for their activities.
“This is a step forward for Australia’s financial system, which has been hit hard by the proliferation of money-laundering activity,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“It’s not just a matter of criminalising illegal activity, but also the act of laundering money for criminal purposes.”
The rules come after the Federal Court of Australia in November ruled against the closure of the former Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in October 2016, arguing the closure violated the “right to privacy”.
“The right to privacy and freedom of expression are fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Australian constitution,” Mr Justice Stephen Keating said.
“The right of access to financial information should not be subject to regulation by a financial institution.”
The Court also held that there is a compelling public interest in ensuring the integrity of financial market data and the availability of the relevant data.
“The ASX was once the world’s largest and most successful financial services marketplace, with customers including the US Federal Reserve and Australian banks.
In March, a Federal Court judge found the closure was unlawful.
Earlier this month, the Federal Government and the ASX appealed against the Federal Circuit Court’s decision, arguing it breached the Privacy Act.
A Federal Court trial is scheduled to start in October.
This is an edited extract from the ABC’s Money MoneyWatch blog, published on Monday, November 28, 2018.
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