March 25, 2020 / 2:34 PM / 12 days ago

Swedish FSA postpones SEB money laundering decision due to coronavirus crisis

STOCKHOLM, March 25 (Reuters) - Sweden’s financial watchdog said on Wednesday it was postponing the presentation of conclusions from its money laundering probe into SEB until June, citing shifting priorities in the wake of the worsening coronavirus pandemic.

The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has been conducting an investigation into alleged money laundering focused on the bank’s Baltic business and was expected to unveil its decision, and possible penalties, in April.

“The FSA is delaying the decision due to the effects of the spread of the coronavirus and subsequent re-prioritisations within the FSA,” it said in a statement.

Local rival Swedbank was fined 4 billion Swedish crowns ($393.36 million) by the watchdog last week for serious breaches against money laundering regulations.

The watchdog has in recent weeks increasingly needed to focus on ensuring financial stability as the coronavirus outbreak and its economic repercussions have surged across Europe, as well as in Sweden.

Among its recent efforts, it has called on Sweden’s banks to take a long-term view on their customers’ needs and warned them against paying out dividends to shareholders in the current uncertain economic environment.

$1 = 10.1687 Swedish crowns Reporting by Johan Ahlander; editing by Niklas Pollard

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