The number of referrals to the Danish State Prosecutor for Serious Economic and International Crime (Statsadvokaten for Særlig Økonomisk og International Kriminalitet (SØIK)) by banks and financial institutions jumped 55% to 41,000 through 2019, Finance Denmark (Finans Danmark) has noted.
This follows recent years' work by the financial sector to upgrade its work around money laundering and terrorism financing. Finance Denmark estimated in November 2019 that there had been an incrase of some 1,200 to 4,300 staff in the industry working on money laundering and compliance.
Ulrik Nødgaard, managing director, said: "The banks are totally focused on this proble. And it is clear that this leads to more referrals, when so many staff are working on it. But what we know also from earlier responses from SØIK is that the referrals generally are well qualified and that the number to a large degree reflect the regulatory requirements to report. The banks are not referring for referral's sake."
While there may have been criticisms from Rigsrevisionen, the auditor of public spending in Denmark, of SØIK's ability to follow up on the many referrals, Nødgaard. notes that "The only people who win from authorities and banks not working more tightly than they do today are the criminals. I hope that politicials will now react quickly to create the opportunity for authorities and banks to, in an environment of trust, develop solutions so that criminals can be stopped and cought out far earlier than today."
This article was first published by Investment Europe, a sister title to International Investment