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How will the ANZ share price be affected by AUSTRAC?

Will the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ASX: ANZ) share price be affected by AUSTRAC?

Westpac Banking Corp’s (ASX: WBC) reputation is being smashed by the international transaction scandal that has engulfed the bank.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) has already been hit by a $700 million fine from AUSTRAC for not reporting correctly.

National Australia Bank Ltd (ASX NAB) has warned that it is also facing some sort of issue relating to AUSTRAC.

Where does ANZ fit into all of this?

Today, ANZ said that some shareholders had been asking ANZ about whether it would be caught up in this. The bank said it is not aware of any impending litigation from AUSTRAC.

ANZ Chief Risk Officer Kevin Corbally said in a statement “Protecting the Australian banking system from criminal use is one of our most important roles and one all of our people are trained in and take incredibly seriously.

“ANZ has been working with AUSTRAC, law enforcement and the broader industry to detect, prevent and disrupt serious financial crimes. This includes money laundering, terrorism, human trafficking, tax evasion and child exploitation.

“Given recent issues identified by AUSTRAC within the industry, we have been reviewing the systems and processes we use to transfer money to ensure we are reporting the information required by regulators. While the review is ongoing, it has found no material issues to date.”

Foolish takeaway

This will be music to the ears of shareholders. No-one wants to see hundreds of millions of dollars go up in smoke. 

ANZ is currently trading at 11x FY21’s estimated earnings. It looks cheap, with a partially franked dividend yield of 6.4%. But, even though it isn’t affected, I’m very uncertain about owning the banks these days.

These dividend shares are much more attractive to me for long-term growth and dividends. They aren’t facing major issues and keep growing earnings.

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Motley Fool contributor Tristan Harrison has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of National Australia Bank Limited. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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