Friday 22 March 2019 3:38 pm

Minister blasts Swedbank money laundering report

Sweden’s financial market minister has blasted Swedbank after the under-fire bank released a short and highly redacted report into a money laundering scandal.

Per Bolund said Swedbank has been “too confident” in its denials that money laundering was a serious problem at the bank.

Read more: Sweden and Estonia probe Swedbank over money-laundering report

His comments came after it released a report this morning into allegations made by Swedish broadcaster SVT.

The report “is not enough for us to feel we have all the answers we need,” Bolund told SVT this morning.

It is highly redacted and largely unintelligible, but claims to have investigated 50 names provided by SVT.

“We observed the bank accessing the [redacted] system in order to review records for all of [redacted] in the Baltics, and [redacted] records for [redacted] entities,” one passage reads.

It refers to accounts in Sweden and the Baltics being closed by 10 July 2018, but does not identify who the accounts belonged to.

The last transaction for one unidentified entity was on 31 May 2017, the report seems to imply.

For some accounts “a number of credit card and loan transactions are under review to confirm whether they are dated pre or post account closure, and whether they relate to fees.”

A search for key terms provided by SVT in some of Swedbank’s records had revealed 23,000 hits, investigators said.

Swedish pension fund AMF, a major shareholder in Swedbank, said the report was a first step in the right direction.

Read more: Danske Bank ordered to shut Estonian branch amid money laundering scandal

“However we had expected more, and we believe more is needed to build confidence in the bank. We are not pleased with the decision not to go public during the rest of the process,” AMF chief executive Johan Sidenmark said.

Minister Per Bolund added: “The Financial Supervisory Authority and Estonian regulators will not examine what has gone wrong at Swedbank’s Estonian business. More information is needed.”