Nordic Region’s Largest Bank Nordea Suspected of Money Laundering
The largest bank in the Nordic region, Nordea, is reportedly suspected of being part of a major international money laundering scandal. The scheme allegedly involved a Russian client and took place over multiple years at an international branch of the bank that is now closed.
Nordea Suspected of Money Laundering
Nordea Bank Abp (Nordea), a financial services group headquartered in Finland, is suspected of money laundering, Cph Post Online reported on Tuesday. The largest bank in the region is allegedly involved in money laundering that took place between 2010 and 2013 “in the bank’s now closed international branch for global clients in Vesterbro [in Copenhagen, Denmark],” the publication detailed, adding:
Nordea is suspected of being part of a major international money-laundering scandal involving a Russian client and a tax company.
The news outlet elaborated that “For almost four years, the fraud squad has tried to pursue a criminal case against a Russian client and a company in Belize in Central America, suspected of having ‘washed’ approximately 322 million Norwegian kroner [~$39 million] using bank accounts in Nordea.”
Established in 1820, Nordea currently has around 300 banks with branches, subsidiaries, and representative offices in 17 countries. According to its website, the bank claims to have 1.7 million customers in Denmark, 2.8 million in Finland, 0.9 million in Norway, and 4.2 million in Sweden. “Nordea is the largest financial services group in the Nordic region and one of the biggest banks in Europe,” the bank describes itself.
Response to Alleged Money Laundering
Following reports of its alleged money laundering involvement, a Nordea spokeswoman told Reuters in an email on Thursday, “To the best of our knowledge, Nordea is not under investigation from authorities related to money laundering in the Baltics.”
Julie Galbo, Nordea’s chief risk officer, was quoted by Cph Post Online admitting that the bank’s “anti-money laundering procedures at Nordea had been insufficient in the past and ensured that major improvements have been made in recent years.”
Jakob Dedenroth Bernhoft from Revisorjura, whose work focuses on money laundering, commented:
Nordea has been a good bank to open an account at if you want to launder money. The bank did not investigate unusual transactions.
Recently, Danske Bank has come under fire for allegedly laundering approximately $234 billion through its Estonian branch. Reuters reported the largest bank in Denmark saying Thursday that it has “received requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in connection with a criminal investigation relating to the bank’s Estonian branch.”