Over the past few weeks, the media has reported on potentially major problems related to money laundering primarily in Swedbank’s Estonian operations. These reports have caused the bank’s share price to fall and had a negative impact on the bank’s reputation.
"FI is carefully following the developments at Swedbank and has been in close contact with the bank due to the events that have occurred. FI makes the assessment that there are currently no grounds for concern regarding the bank's financial position, and therefore not for financial stability, either," says Erik Thedéen, FI's Director General.
FI announced on 21 February that the authority will conduct a joint investigation with the three Baltic supervisory authorities (the Estonian and Latvian supervisory authorities and the central bank of Lithuania) to determine what has happened and assess whether Swedbank has been in breach of the anti-money laundering regulations. FI has now completed the preparatory work and formally started the investigation. The investigation is comprehensive, and FI and the Baltic supervisory authorities will investigate a number of different issues.
The investigation aims to assess compliance and risk management now, over the past few years and prior to 2016. The three Baltic authorities will assess compliance in each subsidiary, while FI will primarily assess Swedbank's (the parent bank's) management and control of money laundering risks in its Baltic operations.
FI estimates that the investigation will be completed in October. FI will then assess whether the matter will progress to a sanction assessment. In the event of a sanction assessment, FI should be able to decide on the matter before the end of the year.