Money Mover Country Report - Sweden
Posted on the 1st November 2016 by Emily Keates in Country Reports
From the all-conquering Vikings, to becoming one of the most democratic and liberal countries in the world, the history of Sweden is long and varied. In more recent history Sweden has developed into a strong, advanced country in both economy and civil liberties - ranking exceptionally for metrics of national performance. For example, Sweden has the lowest income inequality in the world as well as the smallest gender employment-rate gap, with only 4% more men in employment than women.
Sweden joined the European Union on 1 January 1995 however has never joined the Euro currency, which it voted against in a referendum in 2003.
The Swedish Krona
Since 1873 the Swedish currency has been Krona (kr/ SEK). It is commonly referred to as the ‘Swedish Crown’ (Krona means ‘crown’ in Swedish). Each Krona is technically subdivided into 100 öre, although öre coins were pulled from circulation in September 2010.
The Krona was the 11th most traded currency in the world by value in April 2013.
Sweden is a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy. In other words, although the country has a monarch in King Carl XVI Gustaf, executive power is exercised by the government, led by the Prime Minister of Sweden. Effectively, the role of the monarch is limited to ceremonial and representative functions.
Legislative power is assigned in Swedish Parliament (the Riksdag), which has 349 members – 44% of which are women, the highest in the developed world. General elections are held every four years. The vote is made by around 7 million people which influences which political party will represent them in the Riksdag (the Swedish Parliament), county councils and municipalities. Swedish politics can be influenced in other ways such as taking part in referendums, joining a political party or commenting on reports presented by the Government.
Trade and industry
The economy of Sweden has developed from a largely agricultural economy in the 19th century into a high-tech export-orientated economy aided by the country's natural resource base of timber, hydropower and iron. No less than 45% of Sweden's GNP is generated by export, the majority of which is with other European nations. Sweden was a neutral party in both WWI and WWII, so it did not have to rebuild its economic base, as did many other European countries, giving it the advantage of not having a slump in its development.
Although it is a thriving capitalist country, it also has an extensive welfare system, with the second highest total tax revenue as a share of the country’s income, as well as a 25% VAT rate. As of 2012, total tax revenue was 44.2% of GDP.
AML & CTF (Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Terrorist Financing)
Sweden has been a member of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) since 1990.
In 2009, the 2009:62 Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act became effective in Sweden. This law is based on the European Union's Third Anti-Money Laundering Directive. The legislation was upgraded with
extended criminal provisions and penalties.
Sweden was last evaluated by FATF in 2006, which determined that:
- Sweden has comprehensive legal requirements in place to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
- Penalties for money laundering are low and there have been only a limited number of convictions for the offence.
- It has a basic customer identification (KYC) process in place, but needs to be revised to be more comprehensive to satisfy FATF guidance appropriately.
- Identified money laundering is mostly performed through banks, money exchange offices and remittance services.
- Information gained from suspicious transaction reports indicate that the main offences are drug crimes, fraud, illegal trade of alcohol and tobacco and human trafficking.
- Swedish authorities report that the financing of terrorism has not so far been a major problem. Intelligence shows that the few groups and persons in Sweden that fit into the extremist category do not receive funding from abroad.
According to the latest Corruptions Perception Index 2015, Sweden ranks third out of 167 countries with a score of 89 (0 being highly corrupt and 100 representing a very clean perception).
According to a 2011 pan-European study by Transparency International the level of corruption in Sweden is very low. The legal and institutional framework in Sweden is considered effective in fighting against corruption, and the government agencies are characterized by a high degree of transparency, integrity and accountability.
Money Mover view
Sweden is one of the most developed countries in the world, and has a very solid infrastructure in place to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
Money Mover is happy to process payments to and from Sweden. Our clients may wish to use our foreign exchange and international payments service for several reasons:
- Transferring business revenues between branches in Sweden and other countries
- Purchasing goods and services from Sweden in Krona
- Paying salaries for consultants in Sweden
Other country reports you might be interested in:
- Money Mover Country Report - South Africa
- Money Mover Country Report - Spain
- The Challenges and Opportunities presented by Brexit
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