This was up to evidence of the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority and the new, tougher money laundering legislation. The penalty for Swedbank's money laundering business in the Baltic ended just below the maximum penalty of a very palpable SEK 4 billion and a warning.
In the US, Swedbank is still being investigated, Swedish authorities tend not to be tougher in their assessments than American. This opens up for far worse billion-dollar fines in the United States.
It has not yet been established by the authorities that the Swedish People's Bank number one has allowed criminals' money to flow freely through the Baltic banking business for almost a decade - it is still being investigated by the Estonian authorities. However, this should be formal, after the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority's review. In its press release, the Estonian Finansinspektionen states that "the banking group made choices that allowed them to help high-risk customers without proper anti-money laundering systems and controls, and without knowing the money laundering risks of helping those customers".
Say no more.
In the entire Baltic region, Swedbank has about 40 percent of the private market compared to SEB's approximately 25 percent. It is total dominance of the Swedish banks that still makes a lot of money in our smaller neighboring countries.The arguments do not hold
It therefore seems absurd that the Swedish and Baltic financial inspectors did not talk to each other before SVT's Assignment Review revealed the shortcomings in Swedbank.
And that, as FI's Director General Erik Thedéen, blamed the shortcomings of the authority's work against money laundering on "too high staff turnover" does not hold. I still get curious about who is ultimately responsible for the work of an authority; a newly hired newly graduated economist in a subdivision or the authority's highest manager?
The most serious finding that the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority found was that the bank's former management had hidden information for the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority in both Sweden and Estonia. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong that Brasse would have said in SVT's children's program "Five ants are more than five elephants". Now the bank is being investigated by the police for fraud.
When Birgitte Bonnesen took over as CEO of Swedbank 2016, she highlighted, among other things, her qualifications as head of the Baltic banking operations during the years 2011-2014 and as former head of the bank's internal audit. Both of these two positions should have given Birgitte Bonnesen great insight into the bank's shortcomings in the work on money laundering in recent decades. Following the disclosure, CEO Birgitte Bonnesen was fired and a severance package of at least SEK 30 million.Customers are allowed to pay
But the current management does not escape criticism either, and it will be interesting to see how the meeting ends for them later in March.
After the money laundering revelation has been revealed, Swedbank is now investing billions in avoiding similar stories. Unfortunately, it is not the management, but the customers who have to pay for the cleaning work.