Banking & Finance

Financial Crime

Managing financial crime and regulatory risk requires an integrated approach that considers every angle and every stakeholder.

King & Wood Mallesons has a dedicated financial crime and regulation team covering a broad range of legislation that enables us to navigate the regulatory maze for any client touching the financial services space, from global investment banks through to payments fintechs. We have deep experience advising on anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing, Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act, consumer credit, the Banking Act and ASIC Act, sanctions, payments regulation, as well as proceeds of crime and money laundering offences. Our strong reputation has been earned over years of working on the most complex matters in a variety of jurisdictions. Clients choose to partner with us because of the breadth of our experience in many corners of the financial services sector, our pragmatic approach to regulatory problem-solving, and our track record of successfully helping clients to identify and manage risk.

Managing the multiple risk of regulator and class actions in this space requires an integrated approach.  Our financial crime team consists of both subject matter experts and specialist litigators who work closely together to benefit our clients.  Our expertise in engaging with regulators has a track record of avoiding contentious outcomes.

Working closely with many key industry stakeholders enables us to provide confident and insightful advice, including in relation to effectively structuring new offerings in the market and advising on potential contraventions. We regularly draft AML/CTF programs and policies, advise on the application of financial services legislation to new and existing processes and products, provide scalable support leading complex regulatory investigations, prepare compliant product documentation, advise boards and executives on organisational risk, and provide tailored advice to help clients proactively manage the range of obligations that apply to their business.  

Regulatory engagement is central to avoiding contentious outcomes and securing clarity in a landscape that often creates commercial uncertainty. We have developed productive relationships with regulators which gives clients the comfort they need to launch new products and businesses and to tackle difficult problems when they arise.

Financial crime and financial services legislation are constantly evolving and have been through a significant transformation since the Banking Royal Commission. We are at the forefront of these developments and strategically advocate for our clients to improve the effectiveness of our regulatory landscape to produce the best outcomes for our clients and their customers.

We are experts at dealing with both internal and external regulatory investigations. Our multidisciplinary team has well tested procedures to run an efficient investigation or response to regulatory notices, working collaboratively with business and legal functions to surface key risks and issues from an early stage and to focus efforts accordingly. Although investigations can be stressful and intensive, clients choose King & Wood Mallesons because our extensive experience allows us to traverse the investigation efficiently, and to capitalise on opportunities to re-think existing processes and procedures so the investigation is not just an exercise in document management – but a meaningful endeavour that identifies areas of weakness and uplifts compliance.   

Market highlights

  • AUSTRAC investigations, KWM litigation and advisory teams have worked together on numerous occasions to support some of the major banks and a gaming service provider in responding to AUSTRAC notices, and providing ongoing advice and support in respect of regulatory strategy.
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act advisory, advised banks, other financial institutions, government bodies, gaming companies, fund managers and payments providers on all aspects of the AML/CTF Act including designated services, programs, KYC, ongoing customer due diligence, enrolment and registration, reporting (including IFTI reporting reviews), tipping off and record keeping.
  • Proceeds of crime, advised major banks, government entities and gaming service providers on risks arising out of transactions involving sanctioned entities or entities alleged to have been involved in the commission of a criminal offence. Our advice covered potential implications under Australian sanctions, proceeds of crime and anti-money laundering laws, and strategies for mitigating and managing risks on an ongoing basis.
  • Exemptions, working with banks, financial institutions, ASX listed entities and government entities to obtain partial or full exemptions from licensing/registration requirements and other obligations owed under the AML/CTF Act and Corporations Act.

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