Swedish Finansinspektionen’s investigation extended to several banks
Finansinspektionen (FI), Sweden’s financial supervisory authority, extended the range of its investigations on Friday and is now investigating Nordea, Handelsbanken, SEB, and Swedbank.
Nordea has already been criticized heavily for its involvement with Mossack Fonseca and the information uncovered by the Panama Papers leak. According to Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, the leak is expected to have a smaller impact on the other banks now investigated.
Finansinspektionen stressed that their investigation didn’t assume that the banks had broken the law or that something dubious was found in their records and actions. The FI’s Peter Svensson remarked that the investigation could take weeks, or even longer.
Laurence Westerlund, SEB’s press spokesman, said that naturally the FI would now look at all of the banks. “We don’t have any more comments. We answer the questions we’re asked,” Westerlund said. He added that SEB didn’t advise its customers how to hide money from the revenue authorities.
The other banks’ reactions were similar. While Swedbank wasn’t surprised about the widening scope of the FI’s investigations, Handelsbanken said that they were already working on an internal audit regarding the leaked papers, where the bank is mentioned 576 times.
Like SEB, Handelsbanken stressed that it didn’t advise customers on how to avoid having to pay tax.