Regtech unveils new tool to simplify AUSTRAC reporting

identitii SMRs Austrac

Identitii, an ASX-listed regulatory technology or ‘regtech’ developer, has announced the addition of a new functionality to its regulatory reporting platform that it says will greatly simplify mandatory Suspicious Matter Reporting (SMR) to Australia’s financial crimes watchdog, AUSTRAC.

Identitii said the new functionality, which attracts an additional subscription fee for its platform users, reduces risk and simplifies SMR reporting for the more than 17,000 companies that currently report to AUSTRAC.

The regtech developer added that the tool would also prove beneficial for the more than 100,000 additional companies, including accountants, legal firms and real estate agents, currently implementing an anti-money laundering/counterterrorism financing (AML/CTF) program ahead of-the government-led ‘tranche two‘ reforms.

SMRs, according to Identitii chief executive John Rayment, are among the most “complex, manual, and time-consuming” reports required to be submitted to AUSTRAC. For law enforcement authorities, AUSTRAC notes, SMRs serve as the “eyes and ears on the ground” to identify and prosecute criminal financial activity.

The intelligence-rich reports, significant portions of which include qualitative responses, include details of the suspicious matter (related to money laundering, terrorism financing and other serious and organised crime), the person or organisation it relates to, and any transactions involved.

“Making the [SMR submission] process easier and auditable will help our customers spend less time drafting and submitting reports and more time on high-value tasks that enable business growth,” Rayment added.

Regulated businesses are required to submit SMRs to AUSTRAC within 24 hours if a suspicion of criminal activity is related to terrorism financing, or within 3 business days if the suspicion is related to other matters such as money laundering.

Failure to comply with SMRs reporting requirements can result in harsh penalties for offenders.

In 2017, the Federal Court imposed a record $45 million penalty on gambling company Tabcorp largely for its failure to provide SMRs on 105 separate occasions to AUSTRAC.