Anti-Financial Crime & Financial Crime Compliance
Regulatory Intelligence Leadership | Insight | Network

Financial Services

NEWS UPDATE: Australian fintech to accumulate legal fees ‘under $2M’ to deal with AML probe by EU regulator which shook its share price

Photo: William Murphy

By Dan Byrne for AMLi

AUSTRALIAN fintech EML Payments – whose share price plummeted over AML concerns in May – says it expects to pay under $2M this year to cover the legal fallout.  

The money consists of fees to solicitor Arthur Cox and professional services firm PwC – both brought on board to help deal with an investigation into one of the company’s European subsidiaries by the Irish Central Bank.  

EML notified stakeholders of the news from its headquarters in Brisbane in a trading update Wednesday.  

But it warned that a continuing lack of clarity over the Central Bank probe was both “a risk and a challenge,” – prolonging what has been a turbulent few weeks for the organisation.  

Shares in EML tumbled by almost 50% on 19th May when the Central Bank announced it was considering investigation Prepaid Financial Services (PFS), which EML bought in 2020 for €168M.  

The Bank said it was concerned about the state of PFS’s anti-money laundering and counter-terror financing frameworks, its risk and control frameworks, as well as its internal governance practices.  

Since the announcement, EML has brought together board members, executive team members and other professionals to assist its Irish personnel through the investigation.  

It stressed that it remains in regular contact with the Irish Central Bank “through substantial responses, data and access to our teams.” 

Additionally, it has said that it is “proactively communicating” with any other regulator that may request information in any or jurisdictions where it maintains a presence.   

In keeping with Australian business practice, EML’s fiscal year ends at the end of this month, so the price tag of $2M (around €1.3M) does not take into account the potential expenses for the company beyond 1st July.  

EML was trading AU$5.15 on 14th May. After news of the potential probe came out, prices dropped to $2.80 on the 19th May before beginning a relatively steady upward climb. As of 10th June, the company is trading at $3.92.  

Share this on:

Follow us on:

AML Intelligence
We hope you enjoyed reading this article

If you would like unlimited access to AML Intelligence premium articles, newsletter delivered twice a week, access to our Global Bank Fines and Penalties database, free access to Boardroom Series events and much more, select one of our subscription options and become a subscriber!