In the midst of the growing money laundering scandal, Swedbank’s AGM on Thursday was a stormy affair, which began with the dismissal of Birgitte Bonnesen as chief executive and ended with a further fall in the bank’s share price.
Shareholders eventually decided to grant the Board of Directors discharge from liability, but voted not to discharge Bonnesen. This means that she may be found liable for any harm she has caused Swedbank in the past year, and she may also be required to pay damages to the bank.
Commenting the CEO’s dismissal, Chairman Lars Idermark said after the AGM that Wednesday’s raid by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority, EBM, and the widening of the investigation to include fraud, “were too much”. He promised the bank would be transparent and improve its communication. CFO Anders Karlsson will take over as acting CEO until a replacement to Bonnesen is found.
Idermark said he had no plans to step down, but Swedbank shareholder Alecta announced yesterday that it did not rule out the possibility of calling an extraordinary meeting in order to replace the bank’s current Board of Directors.
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