Mortgage Brokers on Frontline in War on Money Lending and Terrorism Funding
Australian mortgage brokers face new compliance requirements in the fight against money launders and terrorist funders after changes to the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006.
According to AUSTRAC, Australia’s Anti-money laundering & Counter terrorist funding government regulator, every year, serious and organised crime costs Australia an estimated $10–$15 billion. To use the proceeds of their crimes, criminals need to ‘launder’ this money to make it appear to have come from legitimate sources.
Furthermore, terrorism financing poses a serious threat at home and abroad. At its most damaging, it can fund the activities of domestic extremists. More commonly, terrorism financing can help sustain terrorist groups overseas and support foreign attacks and insurgencies.
The new changes being implemented by Australian mortgage brokers relate to new customer due diligence obligations being implemented by banks and lenders by the start of 2016. Because Australian mortgage brokers now account for more than half of the mortgages introduced to lenders in Australia, mortgage brokers, on behalf of the lenders are required to comply with the new requirements designed to stop money laundering and terrorism funding.
Mortgage broker industry associations Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) and Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) require refresher training in compliance with the requirements for all of their members that did not have the new requirements contained in their training previously.
“These new measures are a small amount of extra work for mortgage brokers but are another weapon in the war against criminals and terrorists attempting to misuse our financial system for their own gain” said Dr Nigel Abery (Ph.D.) owner of independent mortgage brokers company Oak Laurel.
“We all need to do our part in stopping serious criminals and terrorists. We as mortgage brokers need to do our part. I support the new requirements” said Dr Abery.
“If you are aware of these types or other types of serious illegal activities I urge you to report them to the relevant authorities” said Dr Abery.