AP Funds Tackle Financial Crime

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    Stockholm (NordSIP) – The AP funds and their Ethics Council organised a seminar about financial crime and money laundering together with the CEOs of the four major banks, the Finansinspektionen, Riksgälden, Ekobrottsmyndigheten and Transparency International Sweden.

    The initiative was motivated by the rise in money laundering crimes suspicious transactions, which has culminated in the scandals that have been plaguing Nordic banks in the Baltic States since 2018. Questions discussed at the seminar focused on how regulators, owners and banks can work together to prevent financial crime, the dissemination of information and shared experiences about money laundering. The discussion also focused on collaboration between investors and regulators with banks and other companies to prevent and control financial crime.

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    “If you are serious about access to money laundering, we must find new ways,” says Sean Cory, partner at Oliver Wyman. “Other countries have begun to explore opportunities for increased information sharing and closer cooperation between banks and authorities. If we want to overcome the problems in Sweden, we must do the same.”

    CEOs from Nordea, SEB, Handelsbanken and Swedbank agreed that in the past, the risk of money laundering had been underestimated. Billions have been invested to detect and prevent money laundering, training of personnel, investing in systems and customer knowledge. These efforts must be combined with efficient transaction analysis and reporting to stem this problem. Several participants agreed that it is necessary to review banking secrecy, the principle of public disclosure and also the reporting. Cooperation between banks, regulators and criminal investigators is a priority issue.

    “For the AP funds and the Council on Ethics, the work on financial crime is a particularly important issue. The AP funds will, with their assignment for the pension system, take advantage of economic values,” says Ossian Ekdahl, Chairman of the Ethics Council in 2019. “Our strongest contribution is to focus on the issues that are most important and can bring together all parties. We want to influence and see that this is a good step for dialogue.”

    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe is an economist with 8 years of experience in macroeconomic and financial analysis for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UN World Institute for Development Economic Research, the Stockholm School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Filipe holds a MSc in European Political Economy from the LSE and a MSc in Economics from the University of London, where he currently is a PhD candidate.
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