On March 22, 2019, Swedbank AB released a preliminary report prepared by Forensic Risk Alliance Limited (FRA) at the behest of the bank and its counsel. The objectives of the FRA investigation were to ascertain whether any of the fifty entities mentioned in a local television broadcast about money laundering were customers of the bank or its affiliates in the Baltics, and to determine whether any of those entities have been “off-boarded” by the bank (and when). The redacted results of the preliminary report reveal mixed treatment of the named accounts, with most of the accounts having been closed and the bank’s relationships with these entities having been terminated before June 2017. A second phase of the FRA investigation is underway.
The FRA compliance investigation was initiated following revelations about alleged money laundering by Danske bank customers in the Baltics and Scandinavia. The money laundering allegations, which have spawned investigations in Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, France, the European Union and the United States, led authorities to the discovery of potential insider trading violations by Swedbank, and a raid on Swedbank’s offices by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority. Swedbank’s president and CEO, Birgitte Bonnesen, announced the establishment of a specialized Financial Crime Intelligence Unit in the bank, before her dismissal by the Board of Directors on March 28, 2019.
Swedbank press release (22 March 2019)