March 4, 2019 / 10:45 PM / 3 months ago

Australia's corporate regulator to interview CBA executives -AFR

SYDNEY, March 5 (Reuters) - Australia’s corporate regulator is interviewing top executives at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as part of an investigation into alleged failure to prevent possible money laundering, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported on Tuesday.

CBA in 2018 agreed to a civil penalty of A$700 million ($496.23 million) to settle charges bought by Australia’s financial intelligence agency.

CBA admitted in part to failing to identify, monitor and report money transfers over A$10,000 ($7,566), in contravention of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws.

Without citing any sources, the AFR said the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) had accelerated a separate investigation, with plans in place to interview CBA’s former CEO, Ian Narev and chairman, Catherine Livingstone.

It was not clear whether either Narev or Livingstone had been interviewed yet.

Representatives for CBA did not immediately respond to requests for comment, while ASIC declined to confirm or deny the validity of the report.

“ASIC never comments on operational issues and that includes whether we are interviewing certain individuals,” said Matthew Abbott, a spokesman for ASIC.

The report comes just weeks after the release of a special government-appointed inquiry that excoriated Australia’s financial sector for misconduct.

Two dozen cases were referred to regulators for possible legal action.

$1 = 1.4106 Australian dollars Reporting by Colin Packham Editing by Tom Brown

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