Swedish financial watchdog warns Swedbank of possible sanctions

Swedbank headquarters in Sweden.
Swedbank headquarters in Sweden. Source: AFP/Scanpix

The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) announced on Tuesday that its investigation into Swedbank AB, which is facing money laundering-related allegations, turned up enough violations that sanctions may be imposed on the bank.

The Swedish FSA has found "sufficient grounds for assessing whether the deficiencies and weaknesses observed during the investigation should lead to a sanction or if the investigation should be closed in another manner," Bloomberg reports.

The regulator noted that it would continue analyzing the circumstances in the matter as well as legal issues, and that it plans to announce its findings at the beginning of next year.

A similar probe at SEB AB is still ongoing, the Swedish FSA added.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence Senior Bank Analyst Philip Richards, the fine Swedbank may face might end up smaller than that being faced by Danske Bank, but could still reach nearly $1 billion (USD) in size. This could in turn mean a sharp cut to dividends paid out to shareholders.

Bank also under scrutiny in Estonia

Estonia's Financial Supervision Authority (FSA) also announced on Tuesday that it launched misdemeanor proceedings against Swedbank in connection with issues uncovered earlier this year following supervisory procedures into verifying anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.

The financial watchdog noted that it is cooperating with the relevant authorities in Sweden and the other Baltic countries, indicating that financial supervision authorities are coordinating their activities as well as sharing intelligence and assessments with one another.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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