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In wake of money laundering scandal, Swedbank creates financial crime unit

In wake of money laundering scandal, Swedbank creates financial crime unit

Swedbank has put its head of Group IT, Anders Ekedahl, in charge of a new dedicated anti-financial crime (AFC) unit set up in response to a money laundering scandal being probed by regulators.

The bank is being investigated in the US, Sweden and Baltics over claims that billions of dollars of risky money, mainly from Russia, have flowed through its accounts.

Having seen its market capitalisation take a huge hit, the lender has admitted anti-money laundering failings, set up an internal investigation, and promised to spend an extra $68 million on the issue this year.

Now, it has also created a dedicated unit that will bring together technology and investigative resources to focus on AML, counter-terrorism financing, fraud prevention, cyber security, information security and physical security.

Anders Ekedahl, a 30 year Swedbank veteran who has been head of IT since 2014, will lead the operation, which will also coordinate internal and external investigations within the AML area, which includes cooperating with authorities.

Meanwhile, Tarmo Pajumets has been appointed acting head of group IT.

"We are now gathering all relevant resources and competences in the bank to make sure that we secure robust capabilities and we will continue to invest in this area," says acting chief executive Anders Karlsson.

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