Buckle up for the crackdown: Danish authorities criticized for lax AML effort

In a recent report to the Danish Public Accounts Committee, The Danish National Audit Office (Rigsrevisionen) criticizes the authorities tasked with AML regulation in Denmark for being too lax. For regulated entities in Denmark, the reports are likely to mean increased activity and scrutiny going forward as authorities seek to pick up the slack.

From the opening paragraph of the main conclusion, the report doesn’t mince words: “It is Rigsrevisionen’s assessment that the Ministry of Business, Industry and Financial Affairs, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Taxation’s overall anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing effort has been ineffective, and that particularly the effort of the Ministry of Justice has been inadequate. This is considered very unsatisfactory by Rigsrevisionen.”

To Christian Visti Larsen, CEO and Founder of NewBanking, the implications are clear: “For companies in regulated industries, this will only mean one thing: The regulators are going to ask more questions, they will ask harder questions and they will ask them more often. Being able to document full compliance at a moment’s notice will become even more important than it already is.”

Also mentioned in the report is The Danish Bar and Law Society, tasked with handling AML reports from Danish law firms. Among its conclusions, Rigsrevisionen notes that the Society offers an interpretation of Danish AML regulation to their members that differs from that of the authorities.

“What this shows is that in the current AML environment, you can find yourself in trouble even though you believe you have followed the guidelines set forth by your professional associations. To stay safe, you need to have AML protocols in place that go above and beyond what you believe is required to meet what is actually required,” explains Christian Visti Larsen.

The Danish National Audit Office (Rigsrevisionen) January 2020 Report (in Danish) states that in the period 2016-2018 The Danish Business Authority and The Danish Financial Services Authority audited 3% of the commited companies. By comparison, The Danish Gambling Authorities performed audits on 25% of the Game Providers in the same period.

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