Amid the growing concerns over its capability to monitor fraudulent transactions and also as a measure to cut expenses, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) is moving critical cybersecurity operations to an undisclosed offshore location. It is heard on the grapevine that the offshore location may be India. A substantial part of the information technology division will also be moved. The bank has already called a tender to move the staff and several departments.
“Commonwealth Bank works with a number of different global and local IT partners. We’re always looking for ways we can work more effectively with them and use their expertise and we will always safeguard system integrity, security and information,” a spokesman for the CBA who confirmed the tender told The Australian. “When we make these decisions, it is driven by our thinking on what is the best workforce mix, and we assess that on several factors including expertise, skills and expense management.”
The move comes after Ben Heyes’s exit and Yuval Illuz replacing him as the chief information security and trust officer. Illuz has also been responsible for some top-level reshuffle within the organization post taking the office.
Earlier, the Federal Court had issued a notice to the CBA over its failure to report more than 53,000 large cash deposits. According to Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre which served the Federal Court action to the bank, the undisclosed cash may have facilitated money laundering and financing terrorism. A report by The Australian had revealed that “billions of dollars worth of transactions in the US, Europe and Asia were not being monitored which could put the bank in the firing line of global regulators.” The bench which reviewed the bank’s compliance frameworks pointed out that several top levels CBA officials were aware of the large-scale gaps within the organization.
CBA always has taken information technology and cybersecurity very seriously. It is an active advisor to the government. “It was a founding participant in the government’s inaugural Joint Cyber Security Centre, launched in Brisbane in 2017, and established a scholarship program with the University of NSW to increase the number of local graduates and professionals for an industry that has exploded in recent years.”
Under the aegis of Ben Heyes, CBA’s IT expenses saw a jump to 31 percent in 2016-17. But the appointment of lluz hasn’t gone well with several industry experts who think lluz doesn’t have desired expertise in the banking industry as well as Australian market.