Swedish crime authority investigates Swedbank over insider information breach

FILE PHOTO: A woman walks past a Swedbank branch in Riga October 21, 2014. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden’s Economic Crime Authority said on Wednesday it had launched an investigation into Swedbank over allegations the lender informed major shareholders of a media report linking the bank to a money-laundering scandal in the Baltics before the information was made public.

The investigation regards unlawful disclosure of insider information, the Economic Crime Authority said in a statement.

A Swedbank spokesman said in an e-mail that the bank declined to comment on the investigation.

On Tuesday, daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter said the 15 largest shareholders in Swedbank were told in advance about a media report from Swedish Television linking the bank to a money-laundering scandal involving Danske Bank in Estonia.

Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Simon Johnson; Editing by Susan Fenton and Kirsten Donovan