Trouble in Paradise

By on January 2, 2020

January 2, 2020

Writing on the FCPA Blog, Jesse Van Genugten notes that big financial institutions in all three Scandinavian countries have been tied to regulatory failures recently. The Norwegian government has begun investigating DNB ASA, an entity in which it has a big stake, for its role in channeling laundered money to Namibian officials as bribes in exchange for fishing rights in that country’s waters. Danske Bank, the largest bank in Denmark, has admitted that its Estonian subsidiary helped thousands of customers launder many billions of euros, and authorities allege that Swedbank, headquartered in Stockholm, has helped launder about $23 billion since 2010. That investigation now includes alleged links to Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in custody after investigating tax fraud, and to deposed Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. The blog’s author asks if the Scandinavian banks were uniquely susceptible to use as conduits for money laundering and bribery or is active enforcement simply exposing the possibility of widespread vulnerability in global financial institutions? Probably the latter, he concludes.

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