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Swedish financial regulator opens sanctions probe into SEB over dirty money

Sweden's Financial Supervisory Authority launched a sanctions probe into Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB as part of its investigation into the bank's alleged involvement in the Baltic money-laundering scandal.

The Finansinspektionen is investigating SEB's governance and control measures to tackle money laundering at its units in Baltic countries. The probe is being conducted in coordination with the supervisory authorities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

The Swedish FSA said it considers that there is sufficient grounds for assessing whether the deficiencies and weaknesses observed in the Stockholm-based lender's control systems warrant a sanction or if the investigation should be closed in another manner. The financial watchdog added it will disclose the outcome of the probe in April 2020.

SEB confirmed that it was informed by the Finansinspektionen of the sanctions probe, but has not received the regulator's preliminary assessment that led to the evaluation process. The bank said it has worked in full transparency with the authority.

In November, SEB admitted that it processed €84.6 billion of funds from nonresident clients in Estonia between 2005 and 2018, €25.8 billion of which was from customers that would not meet current standards of transparency nor have links to authentic business activity.

The FSA also said it will release the results of a similar probe into Swedbank AB (publ) in March 2020.