Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo Were Swedbank's Dollar Correspondents


© Reuters. Deutsche Bank, Wells Fargo Were Swedbank’s Dollar Correspondents

(Bloomberg) — Swedbank AB, which has been dragged into a money laundering case that has spread from the Baltic region, used Deutsche Bank AG (DE:) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:) & Co. for U.S. dollar correspondent banking services in Estonia, archived bank documents show.

Swedbank has identified suspicious transactions and reported them to the police, a spokesman for the bank said Wednesday. That follows a report by Swedish broadcaster SVT that about 50 customers at Swedbank transferred some 40 billion kronor ($4.3 billion) in suspicious funds between Swedbank and Danske Bank A/S from 2007 to 2015.

Swedbank “doesn’t recognize” those numbers, the spokesman said.

The $230 billion scandal engulfing Danske continues to spread, with financial regulators in Denmark and Estonia now under investigation by the European Banking Authority. Danske is accused of letting a tiny branch in Estonia become a hub through which illicit funds from the former Soviet Union made their way to the West.

Danske used Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:). and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:). as its correspondent banks in Estonia during much of the nine-year period under investigation which ended in 2015.

JPMorgan pulled out of Estonia around 2013 and both Deutsche Bank and Bank of America followed suit a couple of years later. Deutsche Bank has said that it’s taking a fresh look internally at its role in the Danske case but to date hasn’t found any evidence of wrongdoing on its part.

The documents do not show when Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo started or discontinued their correspondent banking services for Swedbank in Estonia. A Deutsche Bank spokesman declined to comment. Wells Fargo didn’t not respond to repeated requests for comment.

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