Sweden launches AML institute in wake of Panama Papers
Seven financial industry trade associations in Sweden have jointly signed an agreement to launch a new institute focused on combatting money laundering.
Svenska Institutet mot Penningtvätt, SIMPT is yet to launch its website including further details of its organisational structure, but the focus will be to combat money laundering, particularly relating to terrorism. Anti-money laundering (AML) will proceed according not only to applicable regulations, but also through recommendations developed by the institute on how regulations should be implemented in specific situations and in various parts of the financial sector – for example, with regards to business models, the type of customer relationship, the type of product involved, and so on.
“In this way, those employed in the financial sector will have a better basis for how to act in different situations, while at the same time the individual customer can feel more secure about being treated in a correct and consistent manner,” the SIMPT members said in a statement.
The signatories include: the Swedish Investment Fund Association (Fondbolgens förening), the Swedish Bankers Bankers’ Association (Svenska Bankföreningen), Sparbankernas Riksförbund (an organisation of savings banks), Insurance Sweden (Svensk Försäkring), the Swedish Association of Insurance Intermediaries (Svenska försäkringsförmedlares förening), the Association of Swedish Finance Houses (Finansbolagens Förening), and the Swedish Securities Dealers Association (Svenska Fondhandlareföreningen).
The timing of the agreement to establish the institute is not explicitly linked to the publication of the Panama Papers. However, the way in which these documents have illustrated how the global financial system is still being used to funnel money between different points of access out of reach of local tax and other authorities, as well as the investigations initiated by such authorities in Sweden, has put political pressure on the financial sector.
The Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket) estimates that some SEK46bn (€5bn) disappears into so-called tax havens each year, on behalf of Swedish taxpayers.