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Swedbank reaches settlement with U.S. Treasury

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STOCKHOLM — Swedbank said Monday that it has reached a final settlement with the U.S. Treasury’s Office for Foreign Assets Control regarding the bank’s past shortcomings in preventing money laundering, agreeing to pay 37 million Swedish kronor ($3.5 million).

The settlement concerns transactions that were conducted by Swedbank in Latvia in 2015-16 and were reported by Swedbank to OFAC in 2020. The transactions consisted of salary payments and payments that were associated with the operation of a vessel whose owner and operator were located in Crimea, that were subject to U.S. economic sanctions.

Swedbank
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made a provision of SEK40 million regarding the agreement with OFAC in March.

The bank is under investigation for governance deficiencies related to anti-money laundering measures in its Baltic subsidiaries after a Swedish TV show reported in 2019 that billions of dollars of potentially illicit funds might have passed through the bank.

The Swedish financial regulator handed Swedbank a SEK4 billion fine in 2020 after finding the lender’s Baltic operations had serious deficiencies in its anti-money laundering measures as well as shortcomings in its cooperation with the investigation.

Investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and Department of Financial Services in New York are ongoing.

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