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CBA halves cash deposit limit amid Austrac action

The Commonwealth Bank is halving the maximum amount of cash customers can deposit through an ATM in a day, as it seeks to strengthen systems for fighting financial crimes in response to a money laundering compliance scandal.

Amid high-stakes legal action over alleged money laundering via its ATMs, CBA this week announced a $10,000 limit on how much cash customers can deposit through an ATM in a day.

The move,  designed to deal with money laundering risks, comes four months after CBA last year put a $20,000 limit on daily deposit through its ATMs.

The new restrictions  are a response to action from the financial intelligence agency, Austrac, which last August launched action alleging CBA repeatedly breached anti-money laundering and terrorism finance laws, by failing to properly report suspicious transactions through its ATMs.

CBA has admitted to some of the breaches, and the bank is overhauling its systems for detecting suspicious movements of cash.

"Implementing a cash deposit limit complements our reporting obligations, including the reporting of any suspicious transactions conducted across our network and the reporting of each and every cash deposit of $10,000 or more," a spokesman said.


"The daily limit has been introduced to further strengthen our anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing efforts."

Although other banks have lower limits than CBA on the amount of cash that can be deposited in a single transaction, CBA believes its latest limit is a first. That is because CBA's rivals do not put a cap on the total amount that can be deposited in a day, through multiple transactions.

"Commonwealth Bank understands that it is the first major financial institution in Australia to implement a control of this type," the spokesman said.

The new cap will apply to business and personal customers, and it comes into effect next month.