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Australia's biggest bank dealing with reputational scandal

CBA failed to flag potential money laundering, terrorism financing, regulator says

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Commonwealth Bank Chief Executive Officer Ian Narev speaks on the Australian bank's interim results at the Commonwealth Bank headquarters in Sydney on February 15.   © Reuters

SYDNEY - Australia's most valuable company and biggest bank, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, on Wednesday confronted government allegations that it failed to properly monitor more than 53,000 transactions potentially linked to money laundering and terrorism financing between 2012 and 2015. In theory, the bank faces fines of almost one trillion Australian dollars and a hit to its reputation that last week wiped billions of dollars off its market value.

The bank has tasked four directors with overseeing the bank's response to a Federal Court lawsuit, CBA's Chairman Catherine Livingstone said on Wednesday. The suit alleges that criminal syndicates had laundered millions of dollars through CBA accounts over several years.

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