Sweden decides not to investigate Swedbank over Browder money laundering claims

Callum Keown
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Sweden's financial crime unit will not investigate Swedbank over Bill Browder's money laundering claims (Source: Getty)

Sweden’s financial crime squad has decided not to investigate the crisis-hit Swedbank over money laundering claims made by UK hedge fund boss Bill Browder.

The prominent Putin critic filed a criminal complaint alleging that Swedbank accounts were used to launder $176m (£134m) between 2006 and 2012 linked to Russian money laundering and tax fraud.

Read more: Swedbank chief executive fired amid money laundering claims

The Swedish Economic Crime Authority (EBM) said the transfers involving Swedbank accounts were limited and occurred before sharper legislation was introduced in 2014.

Swedbank sacked its chief executive Birgitte Bonnesen last week following a series of money laundering accusations.

Bonnesen was given her marching orders a day after police raided the bank’s Stockholm’s headquarters as part of an insider trading probe.

It comes weeks after the bank was accused of involvement in money laundering in the Baltics by Swedish broadcaster SVT.

Swedbank is being investigated over allegations that it gave major shareholders access to information in the SVT report before broadcast.

Shares in the bank have dropped 35 per cent in the past six weeks.

Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FI), which has launched an anti-money laundering investigation into Swedbank, said it had no concerns over the bank’s financial position.

Director general Erik Thedeen said: “FI is carefully following the developments at Swedbank and has been in close contact with the bank due to the events that have occurred.

Read more: Police raid Swedbank headquarters amid money laundering probe

“FI makes the assessment that there are currently no grounds for concern regarding the bank’s financial position, and therefore not for financial stability.”

The FI anticipated the investigation would be completed in October and could decide on possible sanctions by the end of the year.