FSA says including all Sweden's major banks in Panama Papers probe

viernes 8 de abril de 2016 07:23 GYT

STOCKHOLM, April 8 (Reuters) - Sweden's Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has widened its Panama Papers investigation to include all four of Sweden's major banks, a spokesman said on Friday.

The watchdog initiated an investigation against Nordea earlier this week after media reported its involvement in the so called Panama Papers leak.

According to the reports, Nordea is the most mentioned of the Swedish banks, but Swedbank, Handelsbanken and SEB also figure in the leaked documents.

"Since the other banks are also mentioned, it is natural to include them in the investigation," FSA spokesman Peter Svensson said.

A spokesman for SEB said it was natural the FSA include them in the investigation since the bank's name was mentioned in the documents. "We don't advise customers to hide money in order to avoid tax," SEB spokesman Laurence Westerlund added.

Swedbank said they had launched an internal investigation into the matter while Handelsbanken could not be immediately reached for comment.

The information on the banks appeared in a leak of more than 11.5 million documents from the files of law firm Mossack Fonseca, based in Panama.

While setting up offshore accounts is not necessarily illegal it could be in breach of Swedish money laundering rules, rules both Nordea and Handelsbanken were found to have breached less than a year ago. (Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Mia Shanley; editing by Niklas Pollard)