Sweden’s five largest banks have formalized an information-sharing pact with the country’s police aimed at combating money laundering.
Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank launched a pilot project of the Swedish Anti-Money Laundering Initiative (Samlit) last June, collectively sharing information on methods, patterns of suspicious transactions and new types of crime that have been jointly identified.
The banks say the pilot phase has had “promising results” and that in cooperation with the police, they will develop a more formal framework for collaboration and governance in the coming months.
Samlit will also promote legislative and regulatory changes to improve the possibility of information sharing and strive to increase the number of participating banks in order to increase the efficiency of cooperation.
Linda H Staaf, head of the Swedish Police Authority’s intelligence unit in the national operations department, said the collaborative effort has helped identify individuals involved in organized crime.
“The cooperation between banks and the police has provided us with more information that increases our ability to prevent serious crimes such as shootings and explosions,” she said. “Information allows us to interrupt and aggravate those guilty of serious criminal activity.
Swedbank, which was fined a record $ 385 million last year for violations of its anti-money laundering work, is confident the move will help strengthen bank defenses.
“We have been advocating for some time an increased exchange of information between banks and with the authorities in order to further strengthen our capacities to fight and prevent money laundering and other financial crimes,” says Anders Ekedahl, Head of the fight against financial crime at Swedbank. “Samlit is a very promising initiative and we look forward to continuing to develop this collaboration which will be of great benefit to the company.”