Striking back against financial crime

Closer public-private sector collaboration is needed to fight financial crime in the Nordics

Financial crime fuels some of the world’s most serious social and economic menaces, from drug and people trafficking to terrorism and counterfeiting. While this is a global battle, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have further to go than many of their European counterparts when it comes to countering the problem.

The threat is increasing, with the COVID-19 pandemic making financial crime a growth sector. If banks and society are to gain the upper hand, their next move should be aimed at forming a broader system that becomes more than the sum of its parts. Otherwise, Nordic countries could become too firmly set on their individual courses to make meaningful changes later.

After the recent run of financial crime shocks that has rocked confidence in the banks, the system has the chance to strike back.

In this new research, we explore what each country needs to do, as well as the possibilities for pan-Nordic collaboration. From our extensive experience working with the private and public sectors, we set out a way for banks, law enforcement and regulatory authorities to achieve their objectives, offer greater assurance to investors and customers, and send a message that criminals cannot act with impunity.

70% of respondents
agreed better collaboration, either in their own countries or across the Nordics, should be the priority to combat financial crime
40% of people
rated their country’s approach to combating financial crime as ‘poor’. And less than 20 per cent of them described systems to deal with such crime as ‘very mature’
22% increase
in number of SARS (Suspicious Activity Reports) filed in the UK since the launch of a more collaborative model to tackle financial crime

A critical juncture

The time has come to move existing efforts to the next stage if banks and society are to gain the upper hand over financial crime. Our research sets out what it’ll take for Denmark, Norway and Sweden to improve their anti-financial crime efforts and to realise a better national and pan-Nordic approach to combating financial crime. It draws on detailed interviews with leaders across the private and public sector, from heads of financial crime and chief risk officers in banks, through to law enforcement personnel and regulators.

Recommendations for success

It’s time for a new way of working. A new approach means the public and private sector coming together to:

  • Share data
  • Invest in technology to analyse this data
  • Collaborate more closely with each other, both within and between the three countries, to swap experiences and spot trends.

Without this, progress will continue to be slow. Trust in the financial system will carry on declining, along with national reputations. And, even worse, crime will continue to thrive.

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Contact the team

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