The decision on the suit of billionaire Boris Rotenberg against four banks will be a precedent
On Monday, a court in Helsinki will rule on a lawsuit filed by billionaire Boris Rotenberg. He is suing four Scandinavian banks. Whatever the court decides, the case will be a precedent, says lawyer Jakob Dedenroth Bernhoft, who specializes in money laundering
Boris Rotenberg #88 is suing Svenska Handelsbanken AB, Nordea Bank Abp, OP Group and Danske Bank. Rotenberg is unhappy that these institutions refuse to work with him: Handelsbanken does not accept payments, and the others do not conduct operations on his behalf, because the businessman is under U.S. sanctions.
In addition to Russian citizenship, Rotenberg has Finnish citizenship, and he is not on the EU sanctions list, as his brother Arkady Rotenberg # 53. Therefore, the billionaire believes that European banks should fulfill their obligations to him as a citizen of the EU. The banks do not agree: in case of violation of the US sanctions, they may fall under restrictions themselves and lose access to the dollar market.
The court in Helsinki will rule on the case on Monday, January 13. Whatever the outcome, it could have far-reaching consequences, according to Bloomberg. The case will set a very important precedent: all other banks will be guided by the decision of the Finnish court in similar situations, lawyer Jakob Dedenroth Bernhoft, who specializes in money-laundering and compliance issues, told the agency. He believes that banks have a better chance of success in their confrontation with Rotenberg: “If banks believe that transactions from Russia are ‘dirty’ money for one reason or another, they are obliged to reject it,” the expert added.
Requiring banks to conduct suspicious transactions runs counter to the current environment, where regulators have stepped up oversight of credit institutions following a series of money laundering scandals, Bloomberg agrees. The agency says European authorities are putting more and more pressure on banks to identify dishonest customers.
Rotenberg first filed a lawsuit against the three banks in October 2018, but the court dismissed it in February 2019. The billionaire made a second attempt in September. Boris Rotenberg’s representative declined to comment for Bloomberg.