NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: The Goldman Sachs Manhattan headquarters stands in Manhattan on December 17, 2018 in New York City. Malaysia has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former executives on Monday over their alleged role in the ransacking of a  multibillion-dollar state investment fund. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - DECEMBER 17: The Goldman Sachs Manhattan headquarters stands in Manhattan on December 17, 2018 in New York City. Malaysia has filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs and two former executives on Monday over their alleged role in the ransacking of a multibillion-dollar state investment fund. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Now playing
01:52
Top Goldman Sachs banker charged over 1MDB scandal
Passengers look out at American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, parked at its gate at Miami International Airport as people load for the flight to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 Max flew its first commercial flight since the aircraft was allowed to return to service nearly two years after being grounded worldwide following a pair of separate crashes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Passengers look out at American Airlines flight 718, a Boeing 737 Max, parked at its gate at Miami International Airport as people load for the flight to New York on December 29, 2020 in Miami, Florida. The Boeing 737 Max flew its first commercial flight since the aircraft was allowed to return to service nearly two years after being grounded worldwide following a pair of separate crashes. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Now playing
03:15
Airlines & TSA boost security ahead of Inauguration
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Philanthropist Chief Executive Officer of Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson listens to US President Donald Trump address to the Israeli American Council National Summit 2019 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in Hollywood, Florida on December 7, 2019. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:14
Major GOP donor and casino magnate Sheldon Adelson dies
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:02
Why Wall Street is hopeful about Biden despite economic challenges
Now playing
05:39
Ben & Jerry's calls for Trump's removal
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
This illustration picture shows the social media website from Parler displayed on a computer screen in Arlington, Virginia on July 2, 2020. - Amid rising turmoil in social media, recently formed social network Parler is gaining with prominent political conservatives who claim their voices are being silenced by Silicon Valley giants. Parler, founded in Nevada in 2018, bills itself as an alternative to "ideological suppression" at other social networks. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
03:49
Parler sues Amazon in response to being deplatformed
Panasonic
Panasonic's Augmented Reality Heads-up Display
PHOTO: Panasonic USA
Now playing
01:06
This tech gives drivers directions on the road in front of them
PHOTO: Wimkin
Now playing
03:18
The online warning signs of the violent Capitol siege
PHOTO: Twitter
Now playing
02:39
Twitter permanently suspends Donald Trump from platform
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
03:56
'What are we supposed to do?': Rioter speaks to CNN reporter
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a rally protesting the electoral college certification of Joe Biden as President, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
PHOTO: Evan Vucci/AP
Now playing
01:38
Facebook blocks Trump through end of presidency
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:56
CNN speaks to Trump supporters about Trump's election lies
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: The Google logo adorns the outside of their NYC office Google Building 8510 at 85 10th Ave on June 3, 2019 in New York City. Shares of Google parent company Alphabet were down over six percent on Monday, following news reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to launch an anti-trust investigation aimed at Google. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 3: The Google logo adorns the outside of their NYC office Google Building 8510 at 85 10th Ave on June 3, 2019 in New York City. Shares of Google parent company Alphabet were down over six percent on Monday, following news reports that the U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to launch an anti-trust investigation aimed at Google. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Drew Angerer/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
Now playing
03:25
Google employee on unionizing: Google can't fire us all
FILE - In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a researcher in a laboratory at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Britain on Wednesday, Dec. 30, authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the "vaccine for the world." The Department of Health said it had accepted a recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to authorize the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca.  (John Cairns/University of Oxford via AP, File)
FILE - In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a researcher in a laboratory at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. Britain on Wednesday, Dec. 30, authorized use of a second COVID-19 vaccine, becoming the first country to greenlight an easy-to-handle shot that its developers hope will become the "vaccine for the world." The Department of Health said it had accepted a recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to authorize the vaccine developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca. (John Cairns/University of Oxford via AP, File)
PHOTO: John Cairns/University of Oxford/AP
Now playing
02:36
AstraZeneca vaccine provides 'logistical convenience'
President Donald Trump
President Donald Trump's name appears on a stimulus check on May 3, 2020.
PHOTO: Will Lanzoni/CNN
Now playing
03:05
Here's what the new stimulus package means for Americans
PHOTO: Branislav Nenin/Shutterstock
Now playing
02:27
Is working from home the new normal?
(CNN Business) —  

Two top executives at Westpac (WBK), one of Australia’s biggest banks, are out after the company was hit with extensive claims that it had systematically allowed money laundering on its watch.

The company announced Tuesday that CEO Brian Hartzer will step down in the wake of allegations that the bank had violated money laundering and terrorism financing regulations tens of millions of times. Lindsay Maxsted, who serves as chairman of the board, will also move up his retirement to the first half of next year.

Hartzer, who has been on the job since 2015, will be replaced by Chief Financial Officer Peter King while the bank looks for a permanent successor.

The company came under fire last week when AUSTRAC, an Australian regulator that fights financial crime, said that Westpac failed to report more than 19.5 million instructions for transfers in and out of Australia. The regulatory watchdog also said Westpac neglected to do its due diligence on transactions to the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia “that have known financial indicators relating to potential child exploitation.”

The agency alleges that Westpac broke the law more than 23 million times, each time in theory “attracting a civil penalty” of between 17 million and 21 million Australian dollars. That could potentially saddle Westpac with a fine that far surpasses the 700 million Australian dollars ($474 million) levied last year on Commonwealth Bank of Australia after that bank admitted it failed to observe laws to prevent money laundering and financing of terrorism.

In a statement Sunday, Maxsted said Westpac was working through its response to the allegations, and was determined to urgently fix the issues raised by the regulator. He added that the bank would commence an independent review.

Many of the allegations centered on how Westpac failed to detect money laundering or risky payments that AUSTRAC said were indicative of child exploitation. One of the alleged offenses listed in a court filing concerned LitePay, the bank’s digital payments service that allows customers to make transfers of small amounts to users outside Australia.

Officials claim in the filing that Westpac has been aware of the connection between child exploitation and “frequent low value payments” sent to the Philippines and Southeast Asia “since at least 2013.” And Westpac’s senior management was “specifically briefed” on how Litepay could be at risk for such abuse in 2016, according to the filing.

The filing also claimed that Westpac failed to roll out a plan to detect some suspicious activity on LitePay until June 2018, and has yet to put in place such “automated detection scenarios” across other international payment systems.

Some of the undetected transactions involved payments to “alleged or suspected child exploitation facilitators,” according to the filing. In one case, a customer opened Westpac accounts after serving a sentence for “child exploitation” offenses, AUSTRAC added.

Westpac responded to AUSTRAC’s filing with a proposed plan last week. The bank said it would undertake investments to reduce the risk of financial crime and roll out “immediate fixes,” such as shutting down LitePay.

“The notion that any child has been hurt as a result of any failings by Westpac is deeply distressing and we are truly sorry,” the company said last week.

That did little to ease pressure on its executives. On Tuesday, Westpac said it would shake up its leadership “in the wake of” the allegations, and “urgently fix” the issues that were outlined by regulators. In addition to the two departures, a longtime board member announced he would not seek re-election.

Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer at a media briefing in Sydney in 2016.
Westpac CEO Brian Hartzer at a media briefing in Sydney in 2016.
PHOTO: William West/AFP/Getty Images

“As CEO I accept that I am ultimately accountable for everything that happens at the bank,” Hartzer said in a Westpac statement. “And it is clear that we have fallen well short of what the community expects of us, and we expect of ourselves.”

Maxsted said in the statement that the board accepted “the gravity of the issues raised by AUSTRAC.”

“It became clear that Board and management changes were in the best interest of the Bank,” he said.

The bank is the latest to come under fire in Australia’s financial sector, which has been rocked by scandals in recent months.

Last year, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBAUF) admitted that it had for years knowingly charged dead clients for advice. Two months later, the company was hit by the anti-money laundering fine.

Also in 2018, AMP — Australia’s top wealth management firm — lost its chairwoman after claims surfaced that the firm had regularly overcharged its customers.

AMP said at the time that it took the allegations “extremely seriously” and was taking appropriate steps to address them. Its general counsel also left the firm, and the company said it would cut remuneration for its board directors by 25% for the rest of 2018.