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Financier asks Finland to investigate Nordea, alleging bank laundered money

The request was forwarded to Finland's financial crimes police unit, but a preliminary investigation has not yet been opened, according to Helsingin Sanomat.

Bill Browder
File photo of London-based financier William Browder, who filed a request for investigation with Finnish authorities on Monday, alleging Nordea Bank participated in a money laundering scheme. Image: Robin Van Lonkhuijsen / EPA

London-based financier William Browder announced on Monday that he filed a request for investigation with Finnish authorities, alleging the Helsinki-based Nordea Bank failed to prevent money laundering activities, according to newspaper Helsingin Sanomat.

In the request, Browder's investment firm Hermitage Capital Management claimed that some 527 Nordea accounts had been involved in money laundering schemes, according to the paper, which was the first Finnish media outlet to report on the topic Monday.

Browder recently submitted a similar report about the bank's alleged money laundering activities in Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

The amount of money laundered alleged in the report that was submitted to Finland remained unclear early Monday evening.

Browder sent the request to Finland's prosecutor general which forwarded it to the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) financial crimes unit. The NBI confirmed it had received the report in a tweet Monday afternoon, but said it would not comment further on the matter. The unit told Yle that it plans to examine the document before making a statement.

Nordea Bank is the largest bank in the Nordics, and officially moved its headquarters to Helsinki at the beginning of October. The bank's previous home was in Stockholm, Sweden.

Financier alleged Nordea part of larger scheme

Browder's earlier report alleged that Nordea Bank's Swedish branch had laundered around 175 million euros from two banks in the Baltics.

The Swedish case is reportedly related to an enormous money laundering scandal involving Denmark's Danske Bank, which according to the Financial Times, faces fines of up to nearly seven billion euros over a major money laundering scandal.

International financial authorities are keeping a close eye on Danske Bank after the institution admitted that a large portion of nearly 200 billion euros that arrived from its branch in Estonia were "suspicious," FT reported last week.

Swedish financial authorities have since forwarded the report to law enforcement officials for examination.

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