March 17, 2017 / 2:30 PM / 3 years ago

Nordea, Handelsbanken to face no new punishment over Panama Papers scandal

STOCKHOLM, March 17 (Reuters) - Swedish lenders Nordea and Handelsbanken will face no further sanctions for their involvement in the Panama Papers scandal as they had already been fined and acted to remedy the shortcomings, the country’s financial watchdog said on Friday.

The financial watchdog opened investigations into all four major Swedish banks after they appeared in a leak of more than 11.5 million documents last year from the files of law firm Mossack Fonseca, based in Panama.

While the probe of Handelsbanken and Nordea has now been wrapped up, investigations into Swedbank and SEB are continuing, the FSA said.

“In the investigation we have made as a result of the Panama Papers, we have determined that it is the same deficiencies that they (Nordea and Handelsbanken) have already received a penalty for,” Victoria Ericsson, spokesperson at the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, told Reuters.

She said both banks had launched comprehensive action plans in connection with the sanctions last year.

“We believe the shortcomings we have seen in the Panama investigation will be taken care of when the banks’ action plans are completed,” she said.

Nordea and Handelsbanken were fined 50 million Swedish crowns ($5.7 million) and 35 million crowns respectively in 2015 for breaching money laundering rules.

The FSA said at the time that the severity of the compliance breaches would have justified revoking Nordea’s banking licence. However, because the bank had taken steps to address the problems, it opted to issue a warning alongside the fine, which was the maximum amount at the time. ($1 = 8.7977 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Anna Ringstrom; editing by Niklas Pollard/Keith Weir)

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