As reported, we are talking about a possible violation by SEB, Swedbank, and Danske Bank banks of American legislation in the field of combating money laundering.
The US Department of Justice and the FBI are investigating SEB, Swedbank, and Danske Bank banks in connection with possible violations of US legislation in the field of combating money laundering and fraud, the Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri reported on Tuesday. After the announcement, shares of banks fell.
According to the newspaper, Sweden has received requests from the US authorities to investigate the Baltic States money laundering scandal because local regulators have already fined Swedbank, Danske, and SEB.
The Department of Justice, the FBI, the federal police, and the New York Attorney General are investigating banks for alleged fraud and violations of anti-money laundering regulations.
While banks acknowledged last year that US authorities were investigating them, the Dagens Industri material serves as a reminder that the scandal could lead to new and potentially higher penalties.
The Justice Department and the FBI declined to comment.
On the back of this news, the shares of all three banks fell: Swedbank by 7.7 percent, SEB by 5.6 percent, and Danske Bank by 3.3 percent.
Although banks have already had to pay hefty fines at the local level, the United States’ measures may be much more severe.
The Baltic scandal first became known in 2018, when Danske admitted that suspicious payments from Russia and other countries totaling 200 billion euros ($243 billion) passed through the bank’s branch in Estonia.
Subsequently, the scandal also affected Sweden, where Swedbank was fined a record 4 billion Swedish kronor ($477 million) by the country’s financial supervisory authority for an insufficiently thorough fight against money laundering and for withholding information from the authorities.
In 2019, Swedbank lost a third of its market value.