Proposed legislative amendments provide extended support for the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority to intervene with foreign credit institutions

Published: 2019-02-19

On the 12th of February, 2019, the Swedish Ministry of Finance published a memorandum containing legislative amendments with the intention of improving the code for measures against money laundering and terrorist financing. The amendments are suggested to come into force on the 1st of January, 2020.

The new amendments suggest the following:

  • The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA) will be able to intervene with foreign credit institutions and credit intermediaries who operate from a branch in Sweden and have their headquarters within the European Economic Area (EEA) in case of violations of the current Anti-Money Laundering Act.
  • The exemption from the requirement to investigate if a customer has a beneficial owner will also include subsidiaries of limited companies (aktiebolag) whose shares are admitted to trading on a regulated market within the EES or on a corresponding market outside of the EES. Such subsidiaries should further not report their beneficial owner for registration at the Swedish Companies Registration Office. 
  • The requirement to appoint an alternate beneficial owner, when it is clear that the customer does not have a beneficial owner, will not include a customer that is a state, a county council, a municipality or the equivalent under the prerequisite that the risk associated with the customer is deemed to be low.

Read the legislative amendments

Read the entire legislative amendments at Finansdepartementet

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The proposal of extended opportunities for the SFSA to intervene with foreign credit institutions affects approximately 35 credit institutes who operates from branches in Sweden, including two of the largest active banks in Sweden writes SFSA in their press release regarding the memorandum.  The opportunities for the SFSA to intervene with these credit institutions in case of violations to the Anti-Money Laundering Act are today limited (see chapter 15, §15 Law 2004:297).

The changes in regards to beneficial owner affects all natural and legal persons that are in scope of the AML regulations. They clarify which demands are applicable in regards to customer due diligence measures for some legal entities such as states, municipalities and country councils.

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