Beware jumping on the Westpac bashwagon, by Miranda Devine.
If you can break a law 23 million times, maybe there’s something wrong with the law. If a law is so complex no one can comply with it, then the lawmakers are to blame, but they’re too busy yelling at Westpac for failing to notice 12 customers out of 14 million who may or may not be paedophiles.
It’s hard to muster sympathy for Westpac, but there’s something alarming about a bureaucracy, AUSTRAC, with the power to single-handedly fine one bank $400 trillion — about 250 times the size of the Australian economy.
It is a failure of government which has created an ever-expanding raft of regulations too complicated for any bank to comply with. CommBank was also caught last year.
Paedophiles deserve to be strung up, but is it really the job of banks to police the activities of their customers?
If the government is suddenly so exercised about paedophiles overseas it ought to better fund joint police operations to catch Australian offenders.
Sure, there are a lot of problems with banks in particular, and with banking and the way money is manufactured in general. But this incident is more an instance of big government and bureaucratic overreach, of overbearing and incompetent regulation.