Anti-Money Laundering (AML) in Sweden
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|Money laundering and the financing of terrorism are evolving problems in Sweden. Similar to any developed financial center, Sweden’s financial sector is vulnerable to money laundering and terrorist financing, prompting the country to create an Anti-Money Laundering (AML) system. Despite this vulnerability, the number of reported money laundering-related crimes has fluctuated in the past few years.
The National Criminal Investigation Department (NCID) provides investigation and criminal intelligence support in cases involving crimes with nationwide or international ramifications. The NCID is divided into several divisions, one of which addresses economic crime and is primarily engaged in the investigation of money laundering-related crimes.
According to the Financial Action Task Force's 2006 "Report on Observance of Standards and Codes," money laundering is criminalized through several sections fo the Swedish Penal Code.
In 2009, the 2009:62 Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act became effective in Sweden. This law is based on the European Union's Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The legislation was upgraded with
The Finanspolisen, the Swedish Financial Intelligence Unit, is part of the Swedish Police Board and the Swedish National Criminal Police. From 2015 the Swedish Police Authority will be reorganized into one large authority that prioritizes the area of money laundering crimes.
The Economy of Sweden
Sweden is a well-established welfare state with a large government budget. The nation's high-performing economy has built its success on openness to global trade and investment.
In the early 1990s, Sweden suffered a financial crisis following the collapse of its real estate market. Swedish banks experienced severe losses. While the government implemented stricter control of costs, the number of credit loses slowly decreased and by the end of 1996, Swedish banks showed improved results.
Until 2008, Sweden was in the midst of a sustained economic upswing, boosted by increased domestic demand and strong exports. Despite sound public finances, the Swedish economy slid into recession in the third quarter of 2008 and the contraction continued into 2009 as deteriorating global conditions reduced export demand and consumption. Strong exports of commodities and a return to profitability by Sweden's banking sector drove a rebound in 2010, but growth slowed in 2013, as a result of continued economic weakness in the EU - Sweden’s main export market – and remained weak in 2014.
Banking in Sweden
The Riksbank is Sweden’s Central Bank. The Riksbank is responsible for maintaining Sweden’s monetary policy, overseeing that the system for making payments functions without disruption, issuing banknotes and coins, and managing Sweden’s reserve of gold and foreign currencies.
In Europe, banks represented on the major part of the financial market that offer all kinds of financial services are referred to as universal banks. Among the Swedish universal banks are:
Together these banks make up Sweden’s “big four” and have a strong position on the Swedish financial market.
In 1995, Sweden became a member of the European Union (EU). Sweden held a referendum upon entering the European Monetary Union in September 2003. The Swedish people rejected participation with 56% voting against and 42% for.
The official currency of Sweden is the krona (SEK).
Until World War I, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway utilized the krona as their shared currency. When the countries each broke off into their own respective currencies, Sweden chose to keep the name krona.
The krona is divided into 100 ore and comes in coins of 50 ore and 1 krona, and 5 and 10 kronor denominations. Notes are 20, 100, 150, 500, and 1000 kronor. Prices are rounded to the nearest 50 ore.
Other Key Statistics of Sweden
Time Zone: UTC+1 (6 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).
Daylight Savings Time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October.
Location: Northern Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Kattegat, and Skagerrak, between Finland and Norway.
Population: 9,723,809 (July 2014 est.)
Labor Force: Approximately 1.1% work in agriculture, 28.2% in industry and 70.7% in services industries (2008 est.). The unemployment rate is 7.9%. (2014 est.)
Languages Spoken: Swedish, small Sami- and Finnish-speaking minorities.