Heads of the Nordic and Baltic financial supervisors met today in Stockholm. They agreed on measures to enhance the cooperation between the authorities with the aim of fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.
FI sends verification letters at an early stage of its investigation process, and the aim of this letter is to verify the facts of the case. Verification letters may at times also include preliminary assessments, but these assessments assume that the information FI received is correct and has been understood correctly.
Over the past few weeks, the media has reported on potentially major problems related to money laundering primarily in Swedbank’s Estonian operations. These reports have caused the bank’s share price to fall and had a negative impact on the bank’s reputation.
FI has received a copy of Swedbank’s external review that was initiated by reports in the media of suspected money laundering in the Baltics.
FI confirms that it received a report from Swedbank on 1 March regarding suspected money laundering.
“We are taking the initiative to strengthen our international supervisory collaboration against money laundering and we are redistributing our own resources to increase our supervision capacity,” says FI’s Director General Erik Thedéen after today’s meeting with Minister for Financial Markets and Housing Per Bolund.
SVT’s investigative journalism program Uppdrag Granskning has reported on certain transactions that occurred through Swedbank’s operations in the Baltics.
Due to the reports in the media regarding suspected money laundering in Swedbank’s Estonian operations, FI is issuing the following comments.
Eesti Finantsinspektioon (the Estonian FSA) and Finansinspektionen (the Swedish FSA) consider the reports regarding suspected money laundering that yesterday were made public yesterday on Swedish television (SVT) to be very serious. It is extremely important that the banks’ senior management and boards of directors view these matters seriously and take all necessary actions to ensure compliance with laws and regulations.
FI considers the disclosures regarding suspected money laundering presented by SVT’s program Uppdrag Granskning to be very serious. FI’s Director General Erik Thedéen has made the assessment in several interviews in conjunction with the events in Danske Bank that the possibility of Swedish banks being involved in money laundering cannot be ruled out entirely, but that the scope is most likely more narrow than what has been identified in Danske Bank.
We consider the recent disclosures regarding money laundering and other regulatory infringements in Swedish banks to be very serious. It is extremely important for the banks' management teams and boards of directors to take these matters seriously and ensure that the banks are following the laws and regulations.
FI would like to clarify which decisions FI has made, which decisions were appealed and which rulings the courts announced with regard to a number of investigations into money laundering at Swedish banks.
The newspaper Svenska Dagbladet previously appealed FI’s decisions regarding drafts of assessments in investigation matters. The Administrative Court of Appeal of Stockholm announced its ruling in the case today. The Administrative Court of Appeal upholds FI’s decision and thus rejects Svenska Dagbladet’s appeal.
It is FI’s assessment that firms in general have a greater awareness of the regulations than in previous investigations and are committing more resources to their work to prevent money laundering. But more needs to be done.
FI has updated the instructions and FAQs about the periodic reporting firms under Finansinspektionen’s supervision are required to file according to the Anti-Money Laundering Act.
FI has translated into English its educational videos about efforts to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
On 1 August, the new Money Laundering Act entered into force as well as FI’s new regulations. According to these new regulations, firms under FI’s supervision must report data that enables FI to assess the risk that firms will be used for money laundering and the financing of terrorism.
FI is sending out a letter and brochure today to all of the firms under its supervision about the requirement to report suspected money laundering and terrorism financing. In order to reach as many people as possible, the brochure is available in six languages (Swedish, English, Persian, Arabic, Finnish and French) and two short, informational videos (in Swedish and English) are available online.
The national risk assessment regarding the financing of terrorism that was published in June 2014 identified a need to increase knowledge and awareness about the financing of terrorism.
The national risk assessment regarding the financing of terrorism that was published in June 2014 identified a need to become more informed about and aware of terrorism financing. With the aim of becoming more informed, FI commissioned a report from the Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS) on the threat from terrorism financing and the experiences of measures taken in other countries.