Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLarsson, Paul & Magnusson, Dan (2009). Hvitvaskingsreguleringens kostnader. Nordisk tidsskrift for kriminalvidenskab, 96(1), 3-25.
The aim of this study is to estimate the costs of implementing anti-money laundering regulations in Norway and Sweden. The banks are the central institutions in this respect and the study shows that the annual costs of these regulations are approximately 400 million SEK in Sweden and 200 million NOK in Norway. It is difficult to estimate the effects of anti-money laundering regulations upon the magnitude of money laundering itself. There is little evidence that these regulations have had any noteworthy preventive effect upon either the original criminality that gives rise to illegal earnings or the illegal endeavours, e.g., terrorism, to which these earnings are sometimes applied. It is, however, possible that the regulations strengthen the security and integrity of the financial institutions themselves. The use of intelligence in connection with investigations of financial crimes and other types of criminality can be seen as another positive outcome. There are also nonfinancial costs associated with these anti-money laundering regulations. The loss of secrecy in the banks and the increase of supervision within one more area of private life can be seen as the most serious. The regulations can also have unintended costs by contributing to the marginalization of vulnerable groups of bank customers. The article ends with some suggestions for reforms that may be helpful as a basis for a more precise cost/benefit evaluation of anti-money laundering regulations