Nordic countries warned over growing corruption

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Nordic countries warned over growing corruption
The head office of Swedbank, which was caught up in money laundering allegations earlier this year. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg / TT

The reputation of the Nordic countries for transparency and low corruption levels is "repeatedly being challenged", an anti-corruption campaign group has warned.


The Nordic chapters of Transparency International said in a joint statement that "the Nordics’ reputation for good governance and business integrity is repeatedly being challenged".

In particular, it highlighted recent banking scandals, following recent reports that an Icelandic fishing conglomerate has bribed Namibian public officials, while money for the scheme was transferred through a Norwegian bank.

This follows previous scandals within the Nordic banks, including suspected money laundering through Swedbank and Danske Bank.

In order to fight against corruption, Transparency International said policy-makers and business communities in the Nordics needed to "take a hard look at what their public and private sectors are up to, wake up to their responsibility, and live up to their good reputation or lose it".

The group suggested that this might include stronger policies aimed at detecting and investigating corruption and enforcing those laws already in place, as well as protecting whistleblowers. 

In the 2018 Corruption Index, Denmark was ranked as having the lowest perceived levels of corruption worldwide, while Sweden and Finland were ranked third, Norway seventh and Iceland 14th. Greenland is not yet included in the scale.

The index ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, using a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.


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