Every year, payment agents send billions of dollars to customers from Norway to abroad. Økokrim (The Economic Crime Division) are critical that transfers often take place without control.
‘In 2013, we made a sober estimate. We assumed that agents annually transfer at least three billion dollars out of the country. The estimate was a careful assessment. The real figure is probably much higher’, said Sven Arild Damslora, Head of Unit for Financial Intelligence in Økokrim, to Dagens Næringsliv newspaper.
Finanstilsynet does not oversee foreign payment companies, or their agents.
‘This is partly due to the fact that the EEA agreement gives finance companies, and payment companies that have a license in one country, the opportunity to make cross border payments without a separate license in each country,’ said communications advisor, Jo Singstad, at the audit office.
On the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority’s website, an overview has been published of all agents that foreign payment companies have in Norway.
‘If Finanstilsynet becomes aware of critical circumstances for any of these agents in Norway, Finanstilsynet must notify the home Member State, whic may
then take any action required,’ said Singstad.
In 2014, Norway’s efforts to combat money laundering, and terrorist financing, were criticised in an evaluation by the Financial Action Task Force, a international agency established on the initiative of the G7 countries. According to the report, Norway lacks an overall strategy, policy and control mechanism for money laundering.
In the government-elected money laundering committee, agents for foreign payment companies are pinpointed as a risk group in relation to money laundering, and terrorist financing.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today