BOS seeks answers from Swedish Financial Authority
The Swedish Association for the Online Gambling Trade Branscheforenigen for Onlinespel asked for an explanation from the Swedish Financial Authority as to why banks have “withdrawn their financial services” from licensed operators.
In the official speech, the company explained how the industry depends on basic financial infrastructure “in the form of banking and payment services” in order to effectively conduct its business.
This includes addressing the challenges associated with the activities of unlicensed betting operators, as well as protecting customers from fraudulent threats and combating attempted money laundering, a key practice to prevent the exploitation of the industry. Swedish gambling for criminal purposes or for the financing of terrorism.
Further, BOS’s complaint states that in 2021, the majority of its members unexpectedly faced account closings and termination of agreed payment services provided by domestic banks.
BOS’s statement reads: “To the knowledge of BOS, the following banks have in some cases actively resigned or refused to offer services to member companies: SEB, Swedbank, Nordea, Handelsbanken, DNB Nor and Danske Bank. “
The trade association asked Finansinspektionen to explain why licensed companies have been denied basic banking and payment services necessary to conduct their daily business.
“Banks perform an important task in any company and for every industry,” said Gustaf Hoffstedt, General Secretary of BOS. “The online gambling industry is no exception, quite the contrary with the intensity of transactions in our industry.”
“With that in mind, it worries me that a large number of banks are withdrawing their services from licensed Swedish gambling operators, and apparently without any individual due diligence process.
“The decision appears to have been made purely on the basis of the general reputation of the industry rather than any AML or similar concerns of the bank regarding the individual customer.”
Regarding the banks ‘decision to withdraw their services from licensed gambling operators in Sweden, Hoffstedt – writing in the letter – added that “the formal reason for the layoffs appears to be the result of the banks’ risk assessment and the application of the PTL, but in some cases the banks have given no reason ”.
He concluded: “The Nordic banks have the Bank-ID identification system and, more importantly, the payment provider Swish. It is very important for operators in Sweden to be able to offer these systems to customers.
“Bank-ID and Swish are important competitive advantages for Swedish licensed operators in their daily battle against unlicensed operators. We need the banks to be on the right side of this fight, and that is why today we are asking the Swedish Financial Inspectorate for help on this issue. “
The filing of a formal banking complaint follows BOS expression of concern regarding influence on regulatory affairs owned by the Swedish State Lottery and Gaming Corporation Svenska Spel.