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Swedish, Estonian regulators advance Swedbank probe

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Swedish, Estonian regulators advance Swedbank probe
A view of the Swedbank in Tallinn, Estonia October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins   -   Copyright  INTS KALNINS(Reuters)
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STOCKHOLM/TALLINN (Reuters) – Swedish and Estonian financial regulators have opened sanction cases into Swedbank <SWEDa.ST> over anti-money laundering controls at its Baltic operations, they said on Tuesday, formalising a process that could lead to a financial penalty.

Sweden’s financial supervisory authority (FI) said it had identified weaknesses in Swedbank’s anti-money laundering procedures, and was now examining if it should face a formal sanction.

Estonia’s watchdog issued a similar statement about Swedbank’s Estonian subsidiary.

Swedbank’s shares were down 2.62% at 0840 GMT.

Sweden’s oldest retail bank dismissed its CEO and accepted the resignation of its chairman earlier this year after its Estonian business was caught up in moneylaundering allegations that have engulfed Danish peer Danske Bank [DANSKE.CO].

Swedbank is alleged to have processed suspect gross transactions of up to 20 billion euros ($22 billion) a year from mostly Russian non-residents through Estonia from 2010 to 2016.

The lender has previously admitted to failings in its money-laundering controls in the Baltics but not given details.

It is already the subject of a joint probe by Swedish and Baltic regulators and is also being investigated by at least two authorities in the United States.

(Reporting by Tarmo Virki and Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Jason Neely)

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