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CBA mulls provision for AUSTRAC case

Commonwealth Bank is considering whether to make a financial provision in next week's first-half financial results related to AUSTRAC's allegations it breached money-laundering and terrorism-funding laws.

Australia's largest bank, which this week appointed retail banking head Matt Comyn as its new chief executive, said it was considering potential penalties related to the Federal Court proceedings.

Its statement on Wednesday was prompted by a report in the Australian Financial Review that the bank could have to pay as much as $1 billion to settle the case.

CBA, which will release its first-half results on February 7, did not discuss the possible size of the provision.

"The CBA board will consider a range of factors, including any potential penalty, in determining whether it is appropriate to recognise a provision in accordance with the requirements of Australian Accounting Standards in the half year financial statements in relation to the proceedings," the bank said in a statement to the ASX.

"The recognition of any provision in the half year financial statements is subject to finalisation of CBA's half year financial statements, auditor processes and CBA board approval."

CBA was on Tuesday hit with court action by corporate regulator ASIC, alleging it engaged in unconscionable conduct and sought to manipulate a key inter-bank interest rate.

Rivals ANZ and National Australia Bank have each paid $50 million to settle similar cases.

CBA shares were down 13 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $78.96 at 1225 AEDT, in line with the broader overall market.

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