Handelsbanken receives a remark and is ordered to pay 35 million

Handelsbanken has not complied with the money laundering rules. The bank has not conducted risk assessments for all of its customers or obtained sufficient information about customers and their business relations. The bank's system for reviewing transactions has also been deficient. Handelsbanken thus receives a remark and is ordered to pay an administrative fine of SEK 35 million.

Over SEK 100 billion are laundered in Sweden every year. It is extremely important that this societal problem is counteracted by banks doing what they can to prevent criminals from laundering gains from criminal activities or organisations and people from financing terrorism. Banks must evaluate how high the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing is throughout their operation and also evaluate the risks associated with each customer. Where the risk is high, banks must have extra checks for both these customers and their transactions.

Handelsbanken has not complied with the money laundering rules in several areas. The bank has not evaluated the risk associated with all of its customers. The bank has consequently been unaware of which customers pose a higher risk for the bank than others and has thereby not had the kind of additional checks for these customers or their transactions as required by the rules.

At the same time the bank has not made sufficient basic checks of its customers and their business situations. For example, in virtually all of the cases reviewed by FI there is no information about how the customers will use the bank's services and products. Nor has Handelsbanken followed up and updated customer information, and their automatic system for reviewing transactions has also been deficient.

These deficiencies are significant and mean that Handelsbanken ran a high risk of being used by people to launder money or finance terrorism.

Handelsbanken thus receives a remark and is ordered to pay an administrative fine of SEK 35 million.

FI will hold a press conference today at 09.30 at FI's premises. Martin Noréus (Director General) and Per Håkansson (Chief Legal Counsel) will be there to answer any questions. The press conference is for the media only, but will be broadcast live on FI's website.

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