Danske Bank Now Faces SEC Money Laundering Investigation

February 21, 2019, 1:38 PM UTC

A Russian money-laundering scheme deepened as the Securities and Exchange Commission has opened an investigation into Danske Bank, the Wall Street Journal reported. The SEC joins a Department of Justice investigation as well as probes in Estonia, the U.K., France, and Denmark about the alleged laundering of nearly $230 billion between 2007 and 2015.

The European Banking Authority, which regulates banks in EU member nations, is also looking at Estonian and Danish regulators. Swedbank has also found itself under scrutiny for a part it might have played, according to Bloomberg.

Danske was allegedly involved in the movement of money between Russia and Estonia. Questions began in 2012 after a banker in the Estonian branch of another Danish bank noticed some trading irregularities.

Danske, the largest bank in Denmark, has seen its market value cut in half since March 2018. It was forced out of doing business in Estonia and then announced it would close operations in other parts of the Baltic region and in Russia as well.

And now Swedbank is involved. Wednesday saw reports that the institution was involved with $4.3 billion of the Danske Bank allegations. Swedbank lost 14% of its market value. By Thursday, the stock had lost an additional 10%