Swedish Paper: Authorities to Question Swedbank’s Ex-CEO

Published: 26 February 2020


Authorities in Stockholm could not confirm claims made by Swedish media. Credit: Photomick / Alamy Stock Photo

By Laura Mallene

Authorities in Stockholm could not confirm claims made by Swedish media that Swedbank's former CEO Birgitte Bonnesen will be questioned about the money-laundering scandal involving accounts at the bank’s Baltic branches.


Svenska Dagbladet reported on Monday that the the Swedish Economic Crime Authority Ekobrottsmyndigheten will question Bonnesen in early April but the institution told OCCRP in an email on Wednesday that it “can’t confirm anything at this moment concerning this matter.” 

Birgitte Bonnesen was the head of the largest bank in Sweden when the country’s broadcaster SVT and its partners in the Baltic states ran a story saying that a company used a Swedbank account to conceal bribes to former Ukraine president Viktor Yanukovych.  

After the scandal erupted beginning of 2019, the board of the bank dismissed Bonnesen. 

According to Svenska Dagbladet, she received the letter from Ekobrottsmyndigheten “some time ago” and sources said that she might come out of the hearing as a suspect. 

Bonnesen has previously denied any wrongdoing. 

According to the bank’s latest annual report, the Swedish Economic Crime Authority is investigating whether Swedbank had breached anti-money-laundering regulations.

At the end of September, Swedbank began terminating contracts with a number of managers, including the head of the Estonian branch, where the alleged laundering took place. The new CEO admitted the bank had money laundering problems and lacked good governance and  internal controls.