Financial inspectors on ground at Swedbank in Tallinn

A Swedbank branch in Estonia.
A Swedbank branch in Estonia. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Estonian Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has sent personnel for on-site inspections at Swedbank's Tallinn headquarters, ERR's Estonian news reports.

''On-site inspections were initiated today,'' Livia Vosman, FSA communications manager, told ERR on Tuesday.

This was confirmed by Swedbank itself, by its communications manager Kristiina Herodes.

"Inspectors are here and we are working together with them," she told ERR.

On 21 February, the FSA and its Swedish counterpart agreed to commence cooperation on investigating charges made against the bank, that it had been used as a conduit for potentially illicit, significantly-sized funds, and similar agreements have been concluded between the Swedish authority and its Latvian and Lithuanian opposite numbers, it is reported.

According to Ms Vosman, the focus of the investigation was determined after this initial agreement, with the FSA then starting its investigations. Exactly when those activities began, Ms Vosman did not say.

A Swedish FSA press release stated that the investigation is to concentrate on assessing the compliance of banks with risk management requirements in both recent years and before 2016. The investigation is scheduled to continue until October, it is reported, after which the need for potential subsequent sanctions will be assessed.

The alleged illicit money flows passed through Swedbank in Estonia during roughly the same time period that potentially illicit money flows passed through the Tallinn branch of Danske Bank. The latter was ordered to be closed within eight months by the FSA in February. As much as €230 billion in potentially illicit funds passed via Danske Estonia 2007-2015.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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