Sweden’s finance watchdog has announced an investigation into Swedbank over allegations that the lender may have been used for money laundering of billions of kronor, on the same day that the bank launched its own external investigation into the claims.
The probes follow revelations in an SVT documentary that Swedbank may have been used for extensive money laundering over a 12-year period, including transactions linked to the scandal-hit Danske Bank.
Sweden’s financial watchdog said allegations in a media report linking Swedbank to a Baltic money laundering scandal, involving Danske Bank were “very serious” as shares in the Swedish bank tumbled on Thursday.
In response, Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FI) has launched an investigation into the lender together with the equivalent authority in Estonia, since many of the suspicious transactions took place in the Baltic states.
The FI described the allegations as “very serious” and announced that it had opened the probe “with the aim of more closely examining the information reported by SVT”.
Danske is being investigated in five countries over some 200 billion euros of suspicious payments from Russia, ex-Soviet states and elsewhere that were found to have flowed through its Estonian branch.
Swedish TV said on Wednesday that documents showed at least 40 billion Swedish crowns (£3.3 billion) had been transferred between accounts at Swedbank and Danske in the Baltics between 2007 and 2015, prompting Estonia to investigate the allegations.
Swedbank shares, having recorded their biggest intraday fall since the financial crisis on Wednesday with an almost 14 percent drop, were down a further 9.2 percent.
Via Local / FT