- Flexi Group
Trustly fined SEK130 million by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority
Finansinspektionen, Sweden's financial supervisory authority, fined online payments service Trustly SEK130 million (£10.2 million/€12.2 million/$14.0 million) for failing to comply with the country's anti-money laundering regulations.
Trustly did not comply with the authority's regulations or Sweden's Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Prevention Act, according to an investigation led by Finansinspektionen (Anti-Money Laundering Act).
Risk assessment, procedures and guidelines, customer due diligence, monitoring and reporting were all found to have flaws.
According to the investigation, Trustly violated the Anti-Money Laundering Act by failing to include a "significant portion" of its customers in anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures.
Trustly had not conducted a risk assessment on these customers, nor had the payment provider taken them into account in terms of its procedures and guidelines, according to the complaint. In general, these customers have not been monitored.
When it came to transaction monitoring, Trustly was found to have violated Finansinspektionen' own anti-money laundering regulations, and many of the above Anti-Money Laundering Act failings were also classified as violations of Finansinspektionen' rules.
Finansinspektionen described Trustly as being in a “industry associated with a high risk of money laundering and terrorist financing”, in which it acted in a position “that can almost be described as a hub” between banks and gambling operators.
Finansinspektionen decided that the authority's own regulations and the Anti-Money Laundering Act should be dealt with separately.
It determined that violations of the Anti-Money Laundering Act were not as serious as violations of the authority's own money laundering regulations, and that a warning was sufficient in these cases.
It was, however, fined SEK130 million and given a warning for violating its rules.
"Trustly’s role in the payment chain between the gambling industry and a large number of banks makes it possible for the company to see flows that are not available to other market participants," said Erik Thedéen, director general of Finansinspektionen.
"A company that has chosen fast and simple as its business concept in the gambling industry needs to be very thorough in its work to prevent money laundering. We have identified in our investigation that this has not been the case."
The fine comes just days after Trustly announced that it would be laying off 120 people as part of a reorganization plan. It didn't say how many of the layoffs would be in the gaming division.
The majority of the affected employees, on the other hand, are based in the company's Stockholm office. A spokesperson for Trustly told iGB that the company was "reducing structural complexities" by refocusing its geographical reach and product offerings.
By fLEXI tEAM