Swedbank Chairman resigns over money laundering scandal

epa07466565 A man passes in front of the Swedbank head office at Liivalaia 8, in Tallinn, Estonia, 25 March 2019. EPA-EFE/VALDA KALNINA

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Lars Idermark, resigned as Swedbank Chairman, just a week after the bank’s chief executive was ousted over her handling of a money laundering scandal. In his resignation letter, Idermark said the controversy threatened to distract from his role as head of forestry group Sodra.

The bank, Sweden’s biggest mortgage lender, had fired its CEO Birgitte Bonnesen last week only an hour before a heated annual shareholders meeting.

Allegations against Swedbank, largely reported by Swedish TV, have linked it to a scandal at Danske Bank, which faces potential lawsuits, fines and sanctions after admitting last year that some 200 billion euros (171 billion pounds) of suspicious payments had flowed through its Estonian branch between 2007.

The allegations have sparked a four-way probe by regulatory authorities in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and has seen Swedbank lose about a third of its value.

In connection with last week’s shareholder meeting, where many investors were vocal in their criticism of the bank’s management, third-largest owner Alecta had warned it could demand further dismissals if the board did not take immediate action to restore confidence in the bank.

Via The Financial Times

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