The monetary crime regulator, AUSTRAC, sues Westpac in Federal Court docket for allegedly failing to report tens of millions of worldwide funds transfers, together with funds that may be linked to the exploitation of Youngsters in Southeast Asia.
Westpac Bank chief executive Brian Hartzer resigned following charges that the Australian bank engaged in money-laundering.
However, his so-far unvested short and long-term bonuses will not be paid and he will not be eligible for any future bonuses.
He is the third top executive from the country's four major banks to depart in the past 18 months amid the scandal-plagued Australian banking sector.
"I made clear the seriousness of those issues, but also the bank itself and the board itself has been having many meetings - including with its own shareholders - and, in our conversation this morning with the chairman, he told me, before the public announcement, of what was to take place".
Current Chief Financial Officer, Peter King, will serve as the CEO until a long-term replacement is appointed.
Amid the bloodletting, chairman Lindsay Maxsted announced he will bring forward his retirement to "the first half of 2020", while long-standing director Ewen Crouch will not seek re-election.
The financial institution is suspected of failing to report 19.5 million worldwide fund transfers valued at greater than United States $ 7 billion between November 2013 and September 2018.
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The 4 largest Australian banks - ANZ, Commonwealth Financial institution, Westpac and Nationwide Australia Financial institution - had been focused earlier this 12 months by a royal fee of inquiry which revealed widespread irregularities.
Westpac potentially faces trillions of dollars of penalties for the breaches, but is likely to settle on an agreed sum with AUSTRAC.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg stated "there needed to be accountability".
"The alleged violations that occurred in Westpac are very serious, both in terms of the number of such alleged violations and their nature", he advised reporters on Tuesday.
"The behaviour at Westpac under Brian Hartzer's leadership was nothing short of disgraceful", shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers told reporters in Canberra.
"I think it's welcome, I think it's appropriate", cabinet minister Greg Hunt told Sky News on Tuesday. "Unfortunately in the heightened media environment it will not look good if we have our staff whooping it up with alcohol", he said, The Australian reported. It negotiated a 700 million Australian greenback settlement.
The bank's then chief executive Ian Narev had his retirement brought forward, while National Australia Bank chief executive Andrew Thorburn and chair Ken Henry departed in the aftermath of the royal commission.
Westpac's shares rose 1.8 percent by Tuesday afternoon, having slumped 8 percent over the previous four trading days since the regulator announced its lawsuit, wiping A$7.5 billion off the bank's market capitalization.
Maxsted had initially stood behind his CEO and commenced a string of meetings with institutional investors in an effort to stave off a shareholder backlash against the board at the bank's annual general meeting on December 12.