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Eyes On Banks: Swedbank Fires CEO in $151 Billion Money Laundering Scandal

In recent years, government agencies across the world have vamped up their efforts to crackdown on money laundering involving cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

Yet, money laundering scandals involving some of the largest banks in the world dwarf any cryptocurrency-related incidents.


On Thursday, the board of Swedbank fired Birgitte Bonnesen from her position as the CEO at the bank, recognizing the seriousness of its $151 billion money laundering case and the pressure it placed on the company.

“The developments during the past days have created an enormous pressure for the bank. Therefore, the board has decided to dismiss Birgitte Bonnesen from her position,” Swedbank chairman Lars Idermark said.

The problem with the Swedbank money laundering scandal is that it is the second multi-billion dollar case to be unraveled in the Nordic region, following Danske Bank’s $224 billion money laundering incident in November.

It is the second case of a scandal in the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to emerge within a span of five months in the same region, raising questions on the complacency of financial regulators in dealing with major banks.

In November 2018, Reuters reported that the European Union’s banking supervisor criticized Denmark’s financial watchdog for trusting the bank too much.

“Denmark’s financial watchdog faces an inquiry by the European Union’s banking supervisor, and the Danish business minister has criticized the regulator for not being critical enough toward the bank and for trusting it too much,” a Reuters report read.

The size of money laundering scandals involving banks and bitcoin businesses is vastly different and the scale is on an unprecedented level

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