Swedbank Admitted “Mistakes” in The Fight Against Money Laundering
“Swedbank did not do enough to stop money laundering,” bank head Jens Henriksson said during a press conference. He spoke to reporters after Swedbank was fined by the Swedish regulator 4 bln SEK (EUR 370 million) for the lack of control over suspicious transactions in the Baltic countries. An external audit commissioned by Swedbank itself detected problems and outlined them in a 218-page report. In addition, this bank faces another fine - 405 million euros in the case of money laundering in the Baltic states.
Swedbank came to the Baltics in 1998 - it invested in the local Hansabank, and acquired it in 2005. The first suspicions that money laundering in the Baltic branches of Swedbank appeared in 2017, Danish and Swedish media reported. Regulators from the United States and Scandinavia launched an investigation in the Baltic countries, and after the investigation confirmed the suspicions, Swedbank ordered an external audit to assess the extent of the problem. The results of this audit showed that customers, most often from Russia, used non-resident accounts with Swedbank to make suspicious payments through them. In particular, about $ 37 billion was spent in this way through Swedbank from 2014 to 2019.