FI has not manipulated public documents

2018-12-18 | Press releases

“The assertion that Finansinspektionen (FI) supposedly manipulated public documents related to money laundering investigations and that were requested by the newspaper Svenska Dagbladet is incorrect,” says FI’s Director General Erik Thedéen. An internal legal assessment that FI is publishing today shows that the documents and their release have been handled correctly. FI’s Board of Directors convened for an extraordinary meeting to receive information about this matter and how it will be handled.

"We are satisfied with the information we have received and the legal assessment that was carried out. The Board furthermore expresses its full support for how the management team handled the matter," says Sven-Erik Österberg, Chair of FI's Board of Directors.

"We also welcome the audit that JO has initiated given the recent disclosures in the media," says Erik Thedéen.

The legal investigation, which is published on FI's website, contains a detailed description of the underlying regulatory framework and how it should be applied in this particular case. The investigation shows that the documents to which Svenska Dagbladet refers are internal drafts. Such drafts are not considered public documents and should not be available in FI's general registry. Documents that are final and entered into the general registry are public documents. The investigation shows that they have been prepared correctly and in accordance with FI's procedures. The documents that Svenska Dagbladet requested and received from FI are thus correct and complete (with the exception of the parts that are subject to secrecy and have therefore been blacked out).

The viewpoints and objections from FI employees are noted in the drafts to which the newspaper refers. It is not unusual for there to be different opinions during a supervisory review – this is rather a strength since different arguments are presented and considered. But every investigation must end. This is done by conducting a multi-step general assessment. The matter is reviewed by legal experts and other experts. The executive director of the supervisory area in question then makes an assessment about what should be done. Finally, FI's Chief Legal Officer decides if a matter should be subject to a fine.

The drafts in question refer to assessments in investigations of how several banks managed anti-money laundering regulations. According to FI's policy documents, draft assessments are prepared after every investigation. An assessment template specifies which questions should be discussed and assessed. The aim is to learn from the investigation and thus improve future supervisory work.

The investigations in question were discussed in February, but they had not been finalised when the request to release them was submitted. They were finalised shortly thereafter in accordance with the procedures set out in FI's policy documents. They are entered into the general registry in accordance with FI's procedures and placed in a specific annual folder for investigations. The content that was not subject to secrecy was released.

There may be differences between the final assessments and the internal drafts, but only the final assessments are public documents. Drafts are merely drafts. Subsequently, no public documents have been manipulated. FI has therefore processed the request correctly.

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