Money laundering and terrorism not only harm the public as a whole but can also damage the stability and reputation of the financial sectors. It is obviously in the financial industries’ and society's best interests that financial institutions take all reasonable measures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.
In light of our changing environment, it is of great importance for us as a financial institution to continually evaluate the strength and relevance of our existing policies, procedures and employee training programs. And, if necessary, update them to address these changes.
Swedbank has processes, internal rules and support functions in place to ensure it complies with applicable laws and regulations on money laundering and terrorist financing. The key to this work is knowing our customers and understanding where their money comes from and what they want from their relationship with the bank.
Efforts to counter money laundering and terrorist financing are based on the following processes:
- Risk assessment
- Know the customer
- Continuous monitoring
The payment and card areas in the bank’s home markets and internationally are undergoing major change in terms of regulations and customer preferences. Physical, online and mobile payments are merging and will increasingly be executed on mobile devices, regardless of whether a sale was in a brick-and-mortar store or through a traditional e-commerce website. The number of payments through our digital channels continued to increase in 2015 through a combination of economic growth and the shift from cash to card and electronic payments. For the Group in total, e-payments rose by 59 per cent in Jan-Sept 2015 compared with the same period a year earlier.
Accessibility, i.e. the ease with which customers can contact the bank and transact banking services, is also increasing as digital channels develop. All four of our home markets have a high level of Internet penetration and widespread mobile coverage to facilitate it. This is in addition to the Telephone Bank, ATMs and a traditional retail network with 275 branches in Sweden and 144 branches in the Baltic countries.