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Swedbank To Reveal External Money Laundering Investigation

Swedbank To Reveal External AMLInvestigation

Swedbank has revealed it will release the results of an external investigation looking into the bank’s involvement in a Baltic money laundering scandal on Friday (Mar. 22), according to a report by Reuters.

Swedbank was pulled into the huge Danske Bank scandal, as its Estonian branch was involved in 200 billion euros of suspicious payments between 2007 and 2015.

Swedbank hired the Forensic Risk Alliance to conduct an outside investigation of allegations that 40 billion Swedish crowns ($4.3 billion) in questionable payments moved between it and Danske Bank during the same time period.

Earlier this month, Swedbank’s CEO Birgitte Bonnesen admitted to making some mistakes when handling money laundering allegations against the bank. She has been criticized for appearing to mislead investors and the public after repeatedly denying the bank’s involvement in the scandal.

Bill Browder, an investor known for chasing money launderers, says he has evidence supporting the media reports about the 40 billion crowns, adding that he plans to file a criminal complaint against Swedbank.

“I have had reason, after recent reporting in the media, to reflect on both a CEO’s communication and my own communicative style,” Bonnesen said in a phone interview, according to Bloomberg.

“I realize that when you express yourself in the way that I often do, I need to provide more context, and I also realize that I need to be more vigilant regarding nuances,” she added. “This is an incredibly complex issue, and I cannot assume that the people who listen to me have the full context regarding Danske or others.”

Bonnesen, who said she will continue on as CEO of Sweden’s largest bank, noted she doesn’t regret any of her comments about money laundering and doesn’t feel the information she shared was incorrect. However, she admitted she needs to work on her communication moving forward.


New PYMNTS Report: Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook – July 2020 

Call it the great tug-of-war. Fraudsters are teaming up to form elaborate rings that work in sync to launch account takeovers. Chris Tremont, EVP at Radius Bank, tells PYMNTS that financial institutions (FIs) can beat such highly organized fraudsters at their own game. In the July 2020 Preventing Financial Crimes Playbook, Tremont lays out how.