The costs of implementing the anti‐money laundering regulations in Sweden

Dan Magnusson (Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Publication date: 8 May 2009



The aim of this paper is to estimate the costs of implementing the anti‐money laundering regulations in Sweden.


The banks are the central institutions in this respect and the paper shows that the costs of the banks in Sweden amount to 400 million SEK yearly. The paper is based upon interviews with a sample of banks and bank statistics.


There are big deficiencies in the Swedish legal regulations. For example, banks have no right to freeze the money in suspicious transactions. There are also deficiencies in the legal regulation systems that make it possible for unserious companies to transfer money on behalf of criminals by using the normal retail banking system. The resources of the supervising authorities are insufficient. The results of the regulations are meagre seen in relation to the costs of the banks for the implementation of the regulations. One argument against this assertion about inefficiency is that the regulations have preventive effects. There is nothing in this project that gives evidence for any noteworthy preventive effects of the regulations upon the original criminality or terrorism. Why should accept a system that costs substantial sums of money and has other negative effects just because it might have some uncertain positive effects? It seems to be a better strategy to develop a system whose effects are measurable.


Very little research about the costs of the anti‐money laundering regulations has been done so far and this paper is entering a new field of research.



Magnusson, D. (2009), "The costs of implementing the anti‐money laundering regulations in Sweden", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 101-112.

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