Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority penalises SEB with $112m fine for AML failings

The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (SFSA) has given Nordic bank SEB with a SEK1bn ($112m) administrative fine after failings in its anti-money laundering efforts.

SEB was issued the penalty after the SFSA decided the bank has not sufficiently identified the risk of money laundering in its Baltic operations. It also stated there are shortcomings in its governance and control of anti-money laundering measures.

The investigation covered the period between 2015 and Q1 2019 and found that SEB’s subsidiary banks in the Baltics have been exposed to an elevated risk of money laundering.

This claim was based in part to their geographic location, but also due to customers with a higher risk of money laundering having been responsible for a “substantial proportion” of the subsidiary banks’ business volumes and transactions, it said.

Its investigation also claimed the bank had deficiencies in identifying and managing risks of money laundering for some of their non-resident customers and resident customers with non-resident owners. Furthermore, the bank failed to fix issues identified by control bodies.

In recent years, SEB has taken action and plans to do more to resolve the issues; however, the SFSA believes the bank did not comply with legal requirements during the period investigated.

SFSA director general Erik Thedéen said, “Despite the elevated risk of money laundering in the Baltics, the bank has done too little, too late.”

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