Westpac agrees path to fix transaction monitoring issues

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Westpac agrees path to fix transaction monitoring issues

After regulatory concerns over slow progress.

Westpac has received regulatory approval for its plan to address technology system and risk shortfalls that led to transaction monitoring and anti-money laundering breaches in 2019.

The bank entered into an enforceable undertaking (EU) with the Australian Prudential  Regulation Authority (APRA) in December last year following concerns it was moving too slowly in rectifying its issues.

At the time, the bank agreed to work faster and to produce and submit an action plan within 90 days, listing timelines, accountability goals and remediation strategies to strengthen risk governance.

The plan of action was given APRA's stamp of approval yesterday.

It includes “a multi-year technology roadmap" to address the issues, as well as upgrades to the bank’s data risk governance objectives, which set accountability for data quality, among other changes.

Other points include a management framework for risk identification, measurement, monitoring and reporting.

Westpac Group CEO Peter King said the bank is committed to fully deliver the integrated plan with progress already underway.

“Our integrated plan outlines a comprehensive program of work to ensure the bank’s risk culture and risk governance meet the high standards expected of us," he said in a statement.

“We have made progress on improving our management of risk over the past 12 months, however there is much more work to do to ensure sustainable change.

Westpac appointed global consulting firm Promontory Australasia to ensure the bank meets its delivery targets and is set to release bi-annual reports on progress.  

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