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As reported in Finextra, Sweden’s five largest banks and the local police have formalised an information-sharing pact with the objective of cracking down on money laundering.

The Swedish Anti Money Laundering Initiative (Samlit) was inaugurated by a pilot project in June 2020, which saw the participation of Danske Bank, Handelsbanken, Nordea, SEB and Swedbank, collectively sharing information on newly identified criminal tactics and suspicious transaction patterns.

Based on the “promising results” of the pilot phase, the banks are now getting ready to develop a more formal framework for collaboration and governance in the coming months, in co-operation with the police.

Linda H Staaf, head of the Swedish Police Authority’s Intelligence Unit at the National Operations Department, commented:
The co-operation between the banks and the Police Authority has provided us with more information which increases our ability to prevent serious crimes. The information enables us to interrupt and to aggravate individuals who are guilty of serious criminal activities.

As it strives to involve a larger number of participating banks,  Samlit will also promote legislative and regulative changes to foster information sharing on a larger scale.

Enhanced information sharing and a more holistic effort against money laundering and terrorism financing are among the key pillars of the new AML strategy proposed by the European Commission in 2020. The new framework would include the establishment of a single rule book on AML/CFT as well as the introduction of a new and stronger enforcement body.

For this reason, the local Samlit experiment in Sweden might represent an important source of insights for Europe’s own AML strategy in 2021.

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