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Swedbank is under increasing pressure for money laundering allegations «DiePresse.com



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Swedbank is under increasing pressure from authorities and investors over money laundering charges. The financial supervisors in Sweden and Estonia launched joint investigations against the Swedish financial institution, the authorities said on Thursday. Lithuania is also part of the investigation.

The Swedbank commissioned the company's EY audit and consulting company to investigate the claims made in television broadcasting. Previously, the Swedish AMF's Swedish pension fund – one of the largest shareholders of the organization – called for an independent investigation of this type. The Swedbank share continued to decline and lose about ten per cent on Thursday.

The SVT public broadcaster had reported a money laundering scandal over the Danske Bank, also suspicious transactions were found in Swedbank. The allegations made in the television report are "very serious", said Swedish financial head of supervision, Erik Thedeen.

Meanwhile, Swedbank's board of directors stood behind CEO Birgitte Bonnesen. One full confidence that Bonnesen and the executive committee would focus on answering this issue, chairman of the board, Lars Idermark, said on Thursday. Bonnesen repeatedly stated in the past that internal investigations had not found any connections with the money laundering scandal at the Danske Bank. According to Wednesday night, she said she was confident that the money laundering facility would work. But she can not ignore that the suspicious transactions are ignored.

Swedbank is the largest currency house in the Baltic States and produces almost five of the income in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It has a total of 3.3 million residential customers and 300,000 corporate customers in all three countries. As a result of the allegations, Swedbank shares lost a quarter of their value within two days. Above all, investors have fear that US authorities could intervene in the investigation, as it was in the case of Danske Bank, and that high demands of the US could be set aside to the organization.

In the middle of the money laundering scandal is the Danske Bank branch in Estonia. An internal investigation by the institution revealed that it was estimated that most of the money raised between 2007 and 2015 through the local branch amounted to € 200 billion. The money came, among other things, from Russia and the former republics of the former Soviet Union.

(APA / Reuters)

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