Swedish Watchdog To Publish Results Of Swedbank Probe In 2020

Swedish,Baltics, watchdog, banks, money, laundering

There won’t be any answers until next year regarding the ongoing investigation of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) and money laundering in the Baltics, Reuters said on Friday (Aug. 23).

After Sweden’s Estonian business was caught up in a money laundering scandal, it lost more than a third of its market value.

Swedbank faces allegations of processing transactions with mostly Russian non-residents through Estonia from 2010 to 2016.

The ongoing joint probe by the Swedish and Baltic financial watchdogs was supposed to be done in October. 

“FI (the Swedish FSA) plans to communicate the results of the investigations no later than the beginning of next year, which is later than FI previously indicated. The main reason is the considerable amount of material in the investigations,” the FSA said in the statement.

Swedbank is also under investigation in the United States and faces the potential threat of hefty sanctions and fines.

Last month Swedbank, SEB and four other major Nordic banks announced the creation of a customer checking center as part of efforts to crack down on money launderers.

Banks are taking a closer look at their ability to find and fight money laundering after recent scandals involving Danske Bank and Sweden’s Swedbank. Last year, for example, Deutsche Bank discovered more issues in its ability to completely identify clients and where their money is coming from — more than a year after being fined close to $700 million for enabling the crime.

The German lender ran tests on a sample of its customers in several countries including Russia. In the two reviews, the bank was given a pass rate of zero percent in Russia, Ireland, Spain, Italy and South Africa. The pass rate looks at the percentage of customers that meet the Know Your Customer standards. Deutsche Bank is aiming for a pass rate of 95 percent.