No date yet for money laundering compliance

The federal government has refused to give the banking industry a firm date as to when bank IT systems must be compliant for anti money-laundering reporting legislation.

Speaking at a bank technology conference in Sydney today, Justice and Customs Minister Senator Chris Ellison said he expects ALM (anti money-laundering) legislation to be drafted and introduced to parliament by "the first half of next year", with a regulatory framework to be drafted and introduced at the same time.

"I can't give you a time for implementation. We will deal with that during the exposure period," Ellison said.

He said advice from the financial industry to his office indicated at least three years will be needed to transition the new anti money laundering systems. Ellison also dismissed outright suggestions from backbench MP and former merchant banker Malcolm Turnbull that Australians could be given a national e-mail address.

"Government-issued e-mailed addresses... I haven't heard of that," Ellison said.

"I don't think we'd look at national e-mail as an identity scheme."

However, Ellison stressed the government is looking closely at online verification mechanisms as part of its secure identity strategy.

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