Estonia probes Swedbank for alleged link to money laundering

Estonia probes Swedbank for alleged link to money laundering
By bne IntelliNews February 21, 2019

Estonia is investigating Swedbank in connection to the money laundering scandal centering on Danske Bank that erupted last year, the Estonian state’s public prosecutor’s office said on February 20.

Swedbank is another Nordic bank now facing allegations of money laundering after the Swedish television SVT said it had documents showing SEK 40bn (€3.8bn) had been transferred between Swedbank and Danske Bank in the Baltic states in 2007-2015.

“We can confirm that, as the published information relates to Danske Bank, we are checking out the claims as part of our Danske investigation,” said a spokeswoman of the state prosecutor’s office, Reuters reported.

Estonia ordered the shutdown of Danske Bank’s Estonian branch on February 19. The order is an effect of months of investigating estimated €200bn in payments that went through Danske Bank in Estonia in 2007-2015. The Danish bank is also facing investigations in Denmark, the UK, France, and the US.

Swedbank carried out an analyst call with its CEO Birgitte Bonnesen on February 20 but the call did not reassure investors, Bloomberg reported.

“The question now is whether Swedbank will be able persuade shareholders that things aren’t as bad as they look,” the newswire wrote.

Swedbank lost nearly €3.2bn or 14% of its market value following the report by SVT.

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