Swedbank admits money laundering flaws, faces multiple U.S. probes
26 Apr 2019

Swedbank admitted to failings in combating money laundering on Thursday and said it was under investigation by multiple U.S. authorities, piling more pressure on the bank as it tries to rebuild its reputation.

Sweden’s oldest bank, whose CEO and chairman have both left as money laundering allegations snowballed, is already facing a joint probe by financial watchdogs in Sweden and the Baltics and another by Sweden’s economic crimes body.

Swedbank has found itself caught up in a regional money laundering scandal originating with Danske Bank, which said last year that 200 billion euros ($223 billion) of suspicious funds moved through its Estonia branch between 2007 and 2015.

Swedish broadcaster SVT has reported that Swedbank processed gross transactions worth up to 20 billion euros a year from high-risk, non-resident clients, mostly Russian, through its Estonian branch from 2010 to 2016.

Any action by U.S. authorities, such as the Department of Justice or the Securities and Exchange Commission, is a key concern for investors because of the size of potential U.S. sanctions could dwarf those from local watchdogs and even jeopardize Swedbank’s ability to transact in the U.S. dollar.

By Johan Ahlander and Esha Vaish, Reuters, 25 April 2019

Read more at Reuters

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