Investor Alecta says does not rule out Swedbank get new board soon

Police raid Swedbank's offices in Stockholm

Police raid Swedbank's offices in Stockholm

Idermark apologized for the bank's approach, telling shareholders he "deeply regrets" the developments.

The Swedish Economic Crime Authority (EBM) said it had expanded its probe into Swedbank to include possible fraud, suggesting that the bank might have been aware of the money laundering schemes it was allegedly involved in.

Regulators in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania began investigating Swedbank after SVT in February reported allegations that 50 clients transferred at least 40 billion crowns ($4.3 billion) between Baltic accounts at Swedbank and Danske Bank over the same period. "Therefore, the board has made a decision to dismiss Birgitte Bonnesen from her position", chairman Lars Idermark said in a statement. At 5:12 pm (1612 GMT), it was trading down 7.53 per cent.

The raid took place early Wednesday at the bank's offices in Sundbyberg, a suburb outside Stockholm, and continued for several hours, according to an AFPTV journalist at the scene. Based on leaked documents, the news channel reported that Swedbank was doing business with more than a hundred companies that had links with Mossack Fonseca.

United States authorities have opened an investigation into under-fire Swedish bank Swedbank over suspicions it misled them over its customers' ties to the infamous law firm Mossack Fonseca.

CEO Birgitte Bonnesen, who oversaw the bank's anti-money laundering policy between 2009 and 2011 before heading its Baltic operations until 2014, has repeatedly said she has confidence in the lender's anti-money laundering procedures and that the bank reported suspicious transactions to authorities. The figures are considerably larger than first thought and come amid reports that Swedbank allegedly also misled US authorities regarding its suspicious customer activities.

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According to SVT, numerous suspicious transactions took place between 2007 and 2015, and some of the money may have first gone via Danske Bank, which is at the centre of a giant money-laundering scandal.

An investigation by the Swedish public broadcaster pointed to an internal Swedbank report which showed how accounts linked to the so-called Magnitsky case were moved through the bank as late as 2018, while the bank's management had full knowledge of the origin of the money since 2013.

While the bank didn't want to comment on the sum quoted by SVT, it did tell the broadcaster that the internal report is an example of Swedbank's efforts to include external help in clarifying whether or not it has been abused for the goal of laundering money.

"The focus now has to be on restoring confidence", Swedbank's interim CEO Anders Karlsson told shareholders.

The letter also demands that Swedbank hand over documents about its relations with Danske Bank, which was caught up in a money-laundering scandal a year ago.

It has been alleged that the bank has been used to move billions of dollars out of Russian, similar to a €200bn scandal at the Estonian operations of Denmark's Danske Bank a year ago, which caused its chief executive Thomas Borgen to resign.

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