Key findings from Finanspolisen’s 2023 annual report - suspicious activity reports on the rise

According to Finanspolisen’s (the Swedish Financial Intelligence Unit) annual report for 2023, reports of suspected money laundering activities have increased by 24% compared to the previous year. These figures confirm a long-term trend of rising reporting levels, suggesting increased awareness among banks and other actors.

It’s important to note, however, that the increase doesn’t necessarily translate to a proportional growth in money laundering crimes itself.

Improved detection and reporting

Finanspolisen believes the rise stems from several factors. Financial institutions have become more adept at detecting and reporting suspicious activity. Additionally, reporting obligations have been extended to more industries, capturing a wider range of potential money laundering attempts. 

Enhanced collaboration strengthens efforts

The introduction of a new legislation regarding cooperation entered on January 1st, 2023. It includes rulings on purpose, participants and conditions for cooperation between law enforcement authorities, Finanspolisen (the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority) and credit institutions. Or a cooperation between law enforcement authorities and supervisory authorities. This legislation has been a significant development - with the closer collaborations Sweden’s ability to fight financial crime has demonstrably improved.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Increased reporting by businesses: accounting and auditing firms more than doubled their submissions in 2023.
  • Higher success rate in asset confiscations: a greater proportion of asset confiscations resulted in actual recoveries. 
  • Focus on crypto exchanges: the report highlights the role of illegal crypto exchanges in money laundering and calls for increased vigilance from all stakeholders.
  • Collaboration is key: effective cooperation between Finansinspektionen (the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority), law enforcement and financial institutions has been critical in disrupting illegal money flows. 
  • Strengthened international cooperation: collaboration with Europol Empact and FATF (Financial Action Task Force) is key to tackling money laundering and terrorist financing on a global scale.

While criminals continue to develop new tactics, Finanspolisen’s report highlights significant progress in combating financial crime. The report emphasizes the importance of continued cautiousness and collaboration to safeguard financial systems from illicit activities.


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