Swedish FSA fines SEB over money laundering compliance failures

Credit: REUTERS/INTS KALNINS

Sweden's financial watchdog on Thursday fined lender SEB 1 billion crowns ($107.11 million) for failures in compliance and governance in relation to anti-money laundering regulations in the Baltics.

FSA fines SEB 1 bln SEK for AML failures in Baltics

Says bank did not identify risks, had deficient controls

SEB says will analyze decision

Adds FSA quote, SEB quote, background

STOCKHOLM, June 25 (Reuters) - Sweden's financial watchdog on Thursday fined lender SEB SEBa.ST 1 billion crowns ($107.11 million) for failures in compliance and governance in relation to anti-money laundering regulations in the Baltics.

The watchdog launched the investigation after Swedish broadcaster SVT alleged in November that a number of accounts at SEB in Estonia were held in names that should have alerted the bank to the risk it could be being used for money laundering.

"SEB has not identified the risks of money laundering in its Baltic operations sufficiently well and has had faults in its governance and controls," the Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) said in a statement on Thursday.

The fine is the second biggest ever doled out by the watchdog, after rival Swedbank SWEDa.ST was hit with a 4 billion crown charge in March, also for lax compliance with anti-money laundering regulations in the Baltics.

SEB said it would now analyze the decision.

"We always strive to adhere to current regulations and our high internal standards, and we continuously develop the bank's abilities to prevent, detect and report suspected money laundering and other types of financial crime," the bank said in a statement.

SEB has previously said its own investigations had found no sign it had been systematically used for money laundering although it could not offer guarantees.

($1 = 9.3360 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Simon Johnson and Colm Fulton; editing by Niklas Pollard)

((simon.c.johnson@thomsonreuters.com; +46 8 700 1045; Reuters Messaging: simon.c.johnson.reuters.com@reuters.net))

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