CBA, Macquarie face new $167m dirty cash allegations

Foreign banks warned of potentially criminal transactions, but the two banks accused of still allowing money to flow in and out of Australia.

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Commonwealth Bank of Australia (ASX: CBA) and Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) have been accused of letting $167 million of criminal money move around the globe.

International Consortium of Investigative Journalism (ICIJ) on Monday revealed a massive leak of confidential reports that showed overseas banks warning Australian counterparts about suspicious transactions.

Despite this, more than $174 million of allegedly dirty money came in and out of Australian financial institutions. Macquarie alone was responsible for $123 million.

CBA allegedly had $44 million come in or out of it that raised alarm bells with foreign banks.

AUSTRAC is the Australian authority that oversees suspicious financial transactions. A couple of years ago, it raised a series of cases against local banks, including CBA and Westpac Banking Corp (ASX: WBC), about not reporting transactions that could be money laundering.

Commonwealth Bank ended up copping a $700 million penalty as a result.

Macquarie has previously avoided trouble with AUSTRAC, indicating the dodgy transactions shown in the ICIJ leak are a new discovery.

The Motley Fool has contacted Macquarie for comment.

A CBA spokesperson told The Motley Fool that the bank can’t comment on specific customers or transactions.

“We recognise that we play a critical role in protecting our customers and the community from the risks associated with money laundering and terrorism financing,” said the spokesperson.

“We work closely with law enforcement bodies that are involved in regulating and enforcing laws relating to financial crime.”

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