Swedbank chairman quits over Baltic money laundering controversy

The chairman of Swedish banking giant Swedbank announced his resignation April 5 in the wake of an ongoing scandal involving allegations the bank was involved in large-scale money-laundering in the Baltic states.

"Lars Idermark has, with immediate effect, decided to leave the role as Chair of Swedbank. Thereby, the current deputy Chair, Ulrika Francke, will become new Chair," Swedbank said in a statement.

Idermark added a statement of his own saying:

"Following recent strong debate about Swedbank and questions about the bank’s control of suspicious money laundering in the Baltics, I have concluded that the media attention is not compatible with my CEO role at Södra [the forestry business of which he is CEO]. Therefore, I have decided that the best alternative is to leave the position as Chair of Swedbank with immediate effect."

The newswire Reuters and others have reported on the growing controversy at Swedbank, which centers mainly on the bank's Estonian operations.

Swedbank is the largest financial institution in the Baltic states.

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