A new academy focused on tackling financial crime will be formed under a partnership agreement between Griffith University and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA).

Building on CBA’s existing capability to combat financial crime and Griffith University’s considerable expertise in business and accounting structures, criminology and cyber security technologies, the Academy will offer financial crime investigation and compliance programs.

Professor Andreas Chai

Griffith Business School Accounting, Finance and Economics Head of Department, Professor Andreas Chai, says the academy will set a new national standard in the training of Australian financial crime specialists.

“Combating financial crime is a major challenge for the global financial system,” Professor Chai said.

“Around the world, proceeds from criminal activity account for AUD$3 trillion annually, which is about 2% of the global GDP, and less than 1% of this is ever reclaimed.

“This collaboration is part of a global effort to address financial crime. We aim to contribute to national solutions to safeguard the integrity of the global financial system and of Australia’s national security.

“The new national standard will be achieved by equipping students with foundational knowledge of financial crime obligations and core analytical skills in forensic accounting, investigations and criminology that will help them to identify and detect patterns of financial crime behaviour in financial data.”

Combating financial crime is a growing specialisation, and one which is impacted by a shortage of skilled workers in Australia.

The Academy has been established to help address this shortage, creating learning pathways for students, people wishing to re-skill to move into financial crime prevention, as well as existing professionals who would like to build on their expertise.

CBA’s Group Chief Risk Officer, Nigel Williams, says, “We are pleased to partner with Griffith University to build Australia’s capability to combat financial crime. Together we will help protect our community by making it harder for criminals.”

The Academy will create professional development opportunities for CBA employees and help grow the financial crime workforce.

Programs will be offered as non-award micro-credentials and award postgraduate Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma qualifications.

CBA’s Executive General Manager Financial Crime Compliance, John Fogarty said: “CBA is committed to continuing its ability to detect, deter and disrupt financial crime in our community. I am excited by this partnership with Griffith University, enabling the combined skills and experience of our respective institutions to build a sustainable career path for this profession. This is the start of a qualification that can be applied across all industries to help combat the real impacts of financial crime in our community.”

CBA will provide investment, experts and will support a number of graduate positions.

The partnership will also enable collaborative research projects and the development of innovative technology and service delivery tools.

Griffith University Vice President (Industry and External Engagement) Dr Peter Binks highlighted the importance of the partnership with Australia’s largest financial institution.

“We are delighted to partner with the team at CBA as we work together to create a stronger and better society,” Dr Binks said.