Swedbank suspected of money laundering alongside Danske Bank


writer icon Kristine Hanson     ISB   |   Business     🕐 21. Feb. 2019

Through a leak, Swedish public broadcaster SVT have mapped transactions between Danske Bank and Swedbank. These transactions paint a different picture than what was previously communicated by Swedbank and Finansinspektionen.

Classified documents have come to light that link Swedbank directly to the money laundering scandal with Danske Bank.

Swedish banks under the scope
After the Danske Bank news first became known, Swedish media also started looking into Swedish big banks. At the time, CEO’s from all the big banks spoke out to make it clear that they did not run their banks like Danske Bank. 

Swedbank and other big banks managed to exit the media storm with their share prices still stable, and Swedbank in particular went through the ordeal largely unscathed.  

During that time, the president and CEO of Swedbank Birgitte Bonnesen, stated in an interview that ”we have looked through all the clients who have come out of Danske Bank. There are none of those who have been or are customers in Swedbank.”

The leak
Following a leak in Latvian capital Riga, the SVT team got their hands on classified documents that mapped out secret transactions and payments to and from banks, documents that showed that Swedbank was definitely involved.

The documents demonstrate that from 2007 to 2015 there were a large number of large transactions between Danske Bank’s and Swedbank’s clients. Clients and money-flows that Birgitte Bonnesen previously stated that Swedbank did not manage. 

“It’s a massive scandal. From what we’ve learned from SVT’s information, Swedbank’s accommodation of suspicious transactions comprised a significant part of the money laundering operations, in parity with Danske Bank,” says Louise Brown, corruption expert and chair of Transparency International’s Swedish chapter.

Shares get hit hard
Shortly after opening the Swedish stock exchange yesterday, Swedbank AB's stock fell with 6.95 percent. On Wednesday afternoon, this took another turn for the worse when it dropped down to 13.64 percent. Swedbank share prices have not been hit this hard since the financial crisis of 2008.

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