Swedbank ‘misled US’ on laundering


Raid: The headquarters of Swedbank located in Sundbyberg, outside Stockholm. The Swedish Economic Crime Authority reported it searched the offices of Swedbank, one of the country’s major banks, over a money-laundering scandal. Photo: Getty
Raid: The headquarters of Swedbank located in Sundbyberg, outside Stockholm. The Swedish Economic Crime Authority reported it searched the offices of Swedbank, one of the country’s major banks, over a money-laundering scandal. Photo: Getty

The Swedbank money-laundering scandal widened as Sweden’s main broadcaster published a report alleging the bank misled US authorities.

Former Trump campaign chairman and convicted felon Paul Manafort was among those to have received suspicious payments made through the Stockholm-based lender, the SVT network reported yesterday, amid intensifying scrutiny of Russian cash that passed through the bank’s Estonian unit.

Separately, the bank’s headquarters were raided by Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority, as part of a probe into whether it breached insider information rules by giving its biggest shareholders advance notice of an SVT report on money laundering that was broadcast on February 20. The bank’s shares declined about 8pc, bringing losses since the scandal broke last month to more than 20pc ­- roughly equivalent to €5.3bn. The allegations pile pressure on Sweden’s oldest bank after reports that it was used to handle more than €8.8bn in potentially suspicious transactions tied to the Danske Bank Estonian laundering case. SVT says the sums could be much greater: Up to €20bn a year between 2010 and 2016.

CEO Birgitte Bonnesen, who has been criticised for giving evasive answers is likely to face tough questions at the annual shareholder meeting tomorrow. The Swedish press has expressed concern over those overseeing Swedbank, amid career ties and friendships that link the regulator, the bank, its board and some of its largest shareholders. The bank says it is co-operating with “relevant authorities”.

Bloomberg

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