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Swedish lender Swedbank said Thursday it had launched an investigation into allegations of money-laundering in Baltic countries linked to a scandal that has engulfed Danske Bank in neighbouring Denmark.
Swedish and Estonian financial supervisory authorities said they would also investigate the allegations against Swedbank.
The probe comes after a Swedish TV documentary claimed to have seen documents showing that at least 40 billion kronor (3.8 billion euros, $4.3 billion) of suspicious transactions had been channelled to Baltic countries from Swedbank accounts.
Some of the money may have first gone via Danske Bank, which is at the centre of a giant money-laundering scandal.
Swedbank said it had appointed auditing firm Ernst and Young ‘to analyse material and conduct an external investigation’ after the news programme’s claims.
Most of the suspicious money flows were recorded between 2007 and 2015.
‘When we get signs, we take action,’ said Swedbank spokesman Gabriel Francke Rodau, adding ‘we recognise that this kind of serious crime is one of the toughest challenges that our industry faces today’.
Swedbank shares plunged following the announcement of the probe, losing more than nine percent on the Stockholm stock exchange on Thursday, taking their total decline over two days to over 20 percent.
Investigators in Copenhagen, Brussels, London and the United States are probing some 200 billion euros ($226 billion) in transfers that passed through the Estonian branch of Danske Bank between 2007 and 2015, involving some 15,000 foreign clients.
Last December, Estonian authorities detained 10 former Danske employees on suspicion they had facilitated money laundering via non-resident clients, including many Russians.