Swedish regulators advance SEB money laundering probe

STOCKHOLM, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Sweden’s financial watchdog said on Wednesday it has taken its investigations into SEB over anti-money laundering controls at its Baltic operations to the next level, marking a formal step in the process that could lead to a financial penalty.

Sweden’s financial supervisory authority (FI) said it had observed “deficiencies and weaknesses” at SEB and must now decide whether to sanction the bank.

“As part of its ongoing supervisory review, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority has informed that it is initiating a sanction evaluation process regarding SEB AB’s internal control and governance of its subsidiary banks in the Baltics,” SEB said in a separate statement.

The FI said it was working with authorities in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania as part of its investigation into SEB. (Reporting by Colm Fulton, editing by Terje Solsvik)