The Banks and the Police formalise their co-operation on anti-money laundering
Together with the other four major Banks in Sweden, in June last year Handelsbanken initiated a co-operation with the Swedish Police Authority, with the aim of improving the identification and combating of money laundering and organised crime through increased sharing of information. The pilot phase of the initiative has produced promising results, and the banks and Police have now made the decision to advance their co-operation to the next level by further formalising the relationship.
The SAMLIT (Swedish Anti-Money Laundering Intelligence Task Force) initiative was launched as a pilot project in June 2020. During the summer and autumn, the participating banks – Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank – regularly held joint meetings with the intelligence unit of the Police’s National Operations Department (NOA) to share information. The Swedish Bankers’ Association is also active in the initiative.
The idea has been to find ways of increasing the level of co-operation between the banks and the Police and, by doing so, to improve the identification and prevention of money laundering, and combat organised crime and terrorist financing. For example, the initiative has provided a forum for exchanging information on new criminal techniques, crimes and other patterns that these joint efforts have shed light on.
“Money is usually the motivating factor behind organised crime, and criminals then need to launder this money to obscure the proceeds of their crimes. The banks’ co-operation with the Police has given us additional information, improving our capabilities in counteracting serious violent offences such as shootings and explosions, as we can now disrupt and obstruct the players behind major outbreaks of violence,” says Linda H Staaf, head of the intelligence unit of the Police’s National Operations Department (NOA).
Hannu Saari, Group Executive responsible for Financial Crime Prevention in Handelsbanken:
“Money laundering is a huge problem in society today and is only growing. SAMLIT provides the banking sector with new opportunities to take an even larger social responsibility to reduce the risk of exposure to money laundering and other financial crime. Organised crime and the financing of terrorism are a threat to the open society, which all positive forces have a shared responsibility to fight.”
The banks and Police have now made the decision to advance their co-operation to the next level by further formalising the relationship. This means that SAMLIT will evolve from being a pilot project to become an established co-operation. The goal is to develop a more formal framework for co-operation and governance over the coming months. SAMLIT will also lobby for changes to laws and regulations to allow for improved information sharing possibilities, and will work to attract more market operators to become affiliated with the initiative, in order to improve its effectiveness even further.
For further information, please contact:
Hannu Saari, Head of Group Financial Crime Prevention: +46 8 701 43 18
Viktoria Aastrup, Head of Group Media Relations: +46 73 043 51 59
National Police Media Centre: +46 10 56 391 70
For more information about Handelsbanken, visit: www.handelsbanken.com.