Banking terror funding inquiry starts in Sweden

Banking terror funding inquiry starts in Sweden
Sweden’s financial watchdog, Finansinspektionen is investigating terror funding. Photo: TT
Sweden’s financial watchdog, Finansinspektionen (FI) has launched its largest ever inquiry into terrorism funding in Sweden and how well the country’s banks have been attempting to stop it.

More than 100 billion kronor is linked to money laundering every year in Sweden according to the watchdog, with a round one million kronor connected to terrorist funding, FI told news agency TT.

“People should not fool themselves and think that it [terrorism funding] is less important just because it is a smaller figure compared to money laundering. The consequences of the act of terrorism are often enormous,” FI lawyer Liselott Alström told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. 

The investigation by Finansinspektionen follows previous studies that revealed flaws in Sweden’s banking systems that allowed both kinds of transactions to go ahead.

Now the authority is looking more closely at the country’s four biggest banks – Handelsbanken, Nordea, Swedbank and SEB.

Magnus Ranstorp, a terrorism at the National Defence College said that Sweden’s banks had been keeping a close eye on criminal networks trying to finance terror activities from Sweden.

“There has been a clear improvement. Banks are complying with international regulations but when it comes to new monetary transaction techniques being used, banks have unfortunately not prioritized this enough,” he told Svenska Dagbladet.

The study is the largest of its kind for FI and is expected to be completed sometime in spring of 2015.


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