By Dan Byrne
One of Sweden’s biggest banks has been contacted again by the national financial watchdog as part of an ongoing money laundering investigation.
Swedbank announced Friday that the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA) intends to investigate suspected regulation breaches, marking the latest in a series of reputational setbacks for the organisation.
The bank is one of the largest financial institutions in Sweden and also in all three neighboring Baltic states, with a combined total over 7.3 million individual and 530,000 corporate customers, according to July 2020 figures.
It became mired in scandal in early 2019. State broadcaster STV reported that it had handled many fraudulent transactions related to the long-running Danske Bank money laundering scandal.
Estonian authorities quickly confirmed that it was investigating these claims, and CEO Birgitte Bonnesen was dismissed in March 2019 amid growing pressure from Swedish authorities.
Now, the bank faces investigation relating to “suspected breaches of the regulation on market abuse.”
The period under review in the coming investigation by the SFSA is 20th September 2018 to 20th February 2019 and concerns the disclosure of insider information, as well as the bank’s obligation to establish an insider list in connection with the disclosure suspected money laundering within the company.
“We have previously investigated and found deficiencies and shortcomings that are continuously remedied,” spokesperson Unni Jerndal said. “We have a very ambitious action program for the purpose, and we report on it every quarter.”
Swedbank share prices dropped over 2.5% in the hour after the announcement and fell to a 3-month low of 141.38 kronor on Friday afternoon before climbing back slightly.
Previously, the bank had been fined 4 billion kronor (€384 million) by Swedish authorities for its role in handling allegedly fraudulent cash.
It is still under separate investigations for its laundering affair in the United States, and several European countries, Bloomberg reported.
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