19 May 2020 08:58

SEB and banks intensify cooperation with police in fight against money laundering

Martin Johansson, Senior Advisor

Through increased information sharing, SEB and the biggest banks in Sweden will intensify their cooperation with the Swedish Police Authority in the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and organized crime. 

The SAMLIT project (Swedish Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Initiative) was initiated by SEB’s President and CEO Johan Torgeby last summer in his role as chairman of the Swedish Bankers’ Association. 

“We now take the next step to make society better at fighting and preventing prevent organized crime”, says Martin Johansson, who in his role as senior advisor at SEB leads the bank’s work with SAMLIT. “For us, this means that we among other things get better insights into suspicious transaction patterns in our continued work against money laundering, terrorism financing and other types of economic crime.”

There is already information sharing between individual banks and the Swedish Police Authority, which through money-laundering legislation also has the right to request information. The participating banks - which apart from SEB include Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea and Swedbank - will now together regularly meet the police’s intelligence unit at the National Operations Department (NOA) in order to strengthen the fight against money laundering. That will allow them to share information about new types of crime, patterns and new ways to conduct crime. 

“The intelligence service of the police knows the picture of organized crime and of the people making money from criminal activity, while the banks see financial flows and patterns”, says Linda H Staaf, the head of the intelligence unit at NOA. “By sharing more information with each other we believe that crimes will be detected at an earlier stage but also that we to a larger extent will be able to prevent them from ever being committed. That’s how we want to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism and combat organized crime.”

The banks and the police will start a pilot project in June, in which new forms of information sharing will be tested within existing legislation. They will also assess what potential law changes may be needed to make the work even more efficient in the future. The pilot will be concluded in November, and then be evaluated before the cooperation officially commences during 2021. The project will, as it progresses, be open for more banks.

For further information, please contact:
Frank Hojem, Head of Corporate Communication, +46 70 763 99 47
Niklas Magnusson, Group Press Officer, +46 70 763 82 43

SEB is a leading Nordic financial services group with a strong belief that entrepreneurial minds and innovative companies are key in creating a better world. SEB takes a long-term perspective and supports its customers in good times and bad. In Sweden and the Baltic countries, SEB offers financial advice and a wide range of financial services. In Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany and UK the bank's operations have a strong focus on corporate and investment banking based on a full-service offering to corporate and institutional clients. The international nature of SEB's business is reflected in its presence in some 20 countries worldwide. At 31 March 2020, the Group's total assets amounted to SEK 3,286bn while its assets under management totalled SEK 1,758bn. The Group has around 15,000 employees. Read more about SEB at http://www.sebgroup.com.