When you add it up, where's the Bite?

The settlement announced today between AusTrac and the Commonwealth Banks highlights just how deficient our corporate regulatory regimes have become.

At first glance, $700 million sounds like a significant fine, it will be the largest civil penalty paid in Australian Corporate history, but let’s put that into perspective.

Among many other infractions, the CBA failed to provide 53,506 threshold transaction reports to AUSTRAC on time for cash transactions of $10,000 or more with a total value of about $625 million.

The maximum fine for just one of CBAs failures to make a threshold report is $18 million.

This settlement means CBA is paying less than $14,000 per contravention - less than 0.06% of the maximum penalty.

The Turnbull Government says it will be tough on contraventions by the banks, it says it’s tough on counter-terrorism, yet in the first big test, the regulator appears to be all bark and no bite against the banks, just like the Turnbull Government.