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Sweden – Swedish association slams banks’ decision to withdraw from online gaming

By - 22 April 2021

Sweden’s online gambling trade association Branscheforenigen för Onlinespel (BOS) has asked the Swedish Financial Authority (Finansinspektionen) to explain why banks have suddenly withdrawn financial services for licensed online operators.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, General Secretary of BOS said: “As far as BOS is aware the following banks have in some cases actively resigned or refused to offer services to the member companies: SEB, Swedbank, Nordea, Handelsbanken, DNB Nor and Danske Bank. The banks fulfil an important task in any society and for every industry,” said . “The online gambling industry is not an exception, quite the opposite with our industry’s transaction intensity.”

“With this in mind it concerns me that a large number of banks are withdrawing their services to Swedish licensed gambling operators, and apparently without any individual due diligence process,” he added. “The decision seems to have been taken based only on the industry’s general reputation rather than any AML concern or similar from the bank regarding the individual client.”

“The formal reason for the redundancies seems to be the outcome of the banks’ risk assessment and application of PTL, but in some cases the banks have not stated any reason at all. The Nordic banks own the Bank-ID identification system and even more importantly the payment provider Swish. It is of great importance for operators in Sweden to be able to offer these systems to the customers.

“Bank-ID and Swish are important competitive advantages for Swedish licensed operators in their daily combat against unlicensed operators. We need the banks to be on the right side of that combat, and that is the reason we today ask the Swedish Finance Inspection for aid on this matter.”

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