Irony: Major Nordic Bank Bans Bitcoin To Avoid Money Laundering Risks Then Gets Caught in Scandal
Irony: Major Nordic Bank Nordea Bans Bitcoin To Avoid Money Laundering Risks And Gets Caught For Money Laundering
A very ironic situation has happened recently: Nordea, the largest bank in the Nordic countries, has been caught up in a major money laundering scheme. This would be “normal” since many banks do have issues to be compliant with anti-money laundering policies, it seems, but the bank has recently accused Bitcoin is of being a major money laundering tool back in January.
What happened is that the Nordea group has banned its employees from buying and trading cryptos due to its unregulated nature. The spokeswoman from the Nordea Bank has affirmed back then that it is normal to restrict the personal account of the staff to prevent them taking possession of speculative assets and this is why the company has enacted the Bitcoin ban.
At the time, the spokeswoman had affirmed that the Nordea bank would work together with the European regulatory agencies to create a framework that could be used to establish Bitcoin as a regulated asset, which could diminish the risks of fraud and money laundering.
It cannot be ignored, though, that despite all the talk about anti-money laundering policies and compliance, the company was just as corrupt as they said that Bitcoin was. The decision, which was met with criticism from the crypto industry at the time, was very hypocritical as the company itself was involved in money laundering.
The Money Laundering Case
The company is being accused by media outlets of Sweden to use more than 365 individual Nordea accounts to launder over 150 million EUR ($171 million USD) from shell companies with illegal operations. The Finnish and Swedish authorities are investigating the case at the moment and already planning on cooperating for a full-fledged investigation.
Most of the funds came from criminals whose funds were sourced from Lithuania and Estonia. After the media found out about the case, the spokesperson of the bank has affirmed that they work closely with the authorities to discover the culprits and fix issues.
Danske Bank Also Told Clients To Stay Away From Bitcoin
The funniest thing about the whole case is that this is not a first. Danske Bank, an important bank from Denmark, laundered $243 billion USD, way more than Nordea, and it has also told the clients that they should stay away from Bitcoin because of its money laundering implications.
In fact, some of the funds that were laundered even came from the Danske Bank, meaning that the two banks worked together to launder money while speaking publicly that Bitcoin was bad. It seems hypocrisy is very common with banks nowadays, as they seem to actually be defending their own right to launder money instead of the law.
An important question remains: are the banks a bigger threat than cryptos for anti-money laundering policies? It kind of seems that they are when you think that the Danske Bank was responsible for laundering more money than the entire cryptocurrency market cap.
This means that, even if all the cryptos were used for money laundering, which they are surely not, they would still have laundered less money than the bank did at the occasion. How much money do banks launder without anyone knowing? This is a very serious issue and it needs to be addressed.
While one can argue that cryptos are used for money laundering a lot (and we all know that they are), we should not take the stance of stopping to use them because of this. Will everybody stops to use banks because some people use them for tax evasion? Not, right? That’s the point. Cryptos should be improved to curb money laundering.
With all the transparency that you can have with cryptos (except Monero and other privacy coins) but not with banks, we can actually create something more secure on the community and that is what we should try to do.