Per Håkansson, the Financial Supervisory Authority’s (FSA) chief legal counsel, has told SvD that the authority has found several failings with Swedbank’s anti-money laundering measures. CEO Jens Henriksson and chair Göran Persson will receive a letter from the FSA after its decision to launch a sanctions investigation.
“The letter will lay out our preliminary assessment concerning our observations of violations of the rules. We will also inform the bank of the different sanction options there are for us to consider. The bank will then have an opportunity to respond,” says Per Håkansson.
Initiating a sanctions investigation is a serious step by the FSA, which is not done without reason. “We have collected a very large amount of material from Swedbank, and so have our colleagues in Estonia. In the material, we have observed shortcomings and weaknesses when it comes to checks and controls of anti-money laundering measures in the bank,” says Per Håkansson.
Estonian police are demanding answers from Swedbank about why it took several years to stop transactions from a Russian news agency whose founder and boss had been on the EU’s list of sanctions since 2014, writes Bloomberg.
It was not until last week that the bank stopped the transactions with the Russian Putin ally and journalist Dmitry Kiseloyov’s news agency Rossiya Segodnya. According to the Estonian business newspaper Äripäev, Rossiya Segodnya may have sent transactions of up to EUR 50,000, equivalent to over half a million kronor via Swedbank.
It is almost time for H&M’s Sweden manager Filip Ekvall to launch one of the company’s new experiments: clothing for hire.
The experiment will be conducted in the flagship store at Sergels torg in Stockholm. According to Filip Ekvall it is part of the vision to lead the change towards a circular and sustainable fashion future.
In addition, H&M is going to provide a repair service called Repair and Remake.
Telecom operator Telia has appointed Allison Kirkby, CEO of Danish telecoms company TDC Group, as its new president and chief executive. Kirkby will take up her post in the second quarter of 2020.
Christian Luiga will remain as acting president and CEO until then and then return to his role as executive vice president and CFO of Telia.
Telia’s incoming board chairman, Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, has been in contact with Allisson Kirkby during the week and subsequently informed the board that he fully supports her appointment.
Sweden’s construction industry will face a second year of falls in 2020, according to a fresh report by the Swedish Construction Federation (Sveriges Byggindustrier).
“The last time we had a two-year decline was in 2008–2009 in connection with the financial crisis,” said CEO Catharina Elmsäter-Svärd.
Housing construction will continue on a steep decline in 2020, in a market in which there is already a large deficit of homes. Simultaneously, the infrastructure and heavy construction market is expected to grow.
Overall, the number of people employed in the construction industry is forecast to decline by 7,000 next year.
Between 2018 and 2020, housing construction in Stockholm will fall by 27 per cent and the capital’s role as a growth engine for the Swedish economy is at risk, warned Elmsäter-Svärd.
A dispute has erupted between the Social Democrats and the Greens over Sweden’s export strategy following revelations earlier this year that the Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) and the Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) underwrote fossil fuel projects to a value of some SEK 6 billion in the past five years. Furthermore, the agencies lent some SEK 22 billion to such projects in 2018, with ventures including petrochemical plants in Uzbekistan and Saudi Arabia, as well as a gas pipeline in the Caspian Sea and a gas project in Arctic Siberia.
The news has caused irritation among the Greens, who say Sweden’s export strategy must tally with the country’s first climate action plan, which is to be drawn up by year-end.
Social Democratic Trade Minister Anna Hallberg is playing down the dispute, saying a solution is within reach. “We are in total agreement that we will continue to contribute technology to reduce carbon emissions. I am in the midst of analysing what this will mean for our credit agencies,” she comments.
Swedish utility Vattenfall and its partner Wallenstam have called off efforts to develop the Tagen offshore wind farm located outside Sölvesborg after the Armed Forces rejected a revised plan for the development.
The partners, through a joint company called Taggen Vindpark, have had a permit since 2012 to build a wind farm off the southern coast of Sweden. When they sought to change the details of the permit in order to build taller and fewer turbines, the military responded negatively not only to application change but to the project as a whole, the reason being that there is a military exercise field some 25 kilometres from the wind farm.
“It is highly regrettable that we are now forced to make this decision. We have been working on this project for more than 10 years, invested millions and have received a great deal of local support,” said Mattias Sjöberg, chair of Taggen Vindpark AB.
The planned capacity of the project was 300 MW, corresponding to the production of renewable electricity for just over 200,000 households.
As the largest shareholder in Telia, the Swedish state has requested an extraordinary general meeting to replace the operator’s chair, Marie Ehrling, with Lars-Johan Jarnheimer, current chair of Ingka Holdings (IKEA), Egmont and Arvid Nordqvist, and former CEO of Tele2.
Daniel Kristersson, chair of Telia’s nomination committee, describes Jarnheimer as “strongly business minded” with extensive experience within telecommunications.
Telia is also in the process of replacing its chief executive, Johan Dennelind, who announced he would step down earlier this year.
Ericsson states it has a total of 70 agreements with operators globally to deliver 5G equipment – 19 of the networks are in commercial use and the biggest focus is on China. CEO Börje Ekholm comments, “We are trying to be disciplined when we compete for contracts. We want to compete with better technology, not purely on price wars.”
Ericsson’s interim report, which was released yesterday, exceeded analysts’ expectations in several areas and also raised targets for sales and profitability. At the same time the official cost of the corruption scandal in six countries, which ended up in 49 employees being fired and SEK 11.5 billion in fines etc., was made public.
Sweden is one of the countries in the EU with the lowest share of its population living with severe material deprivation, according to the EU’s definition. Two per cent of the Swedish population were in severe material deprivation in 2018, according to figures from Statistics Sweden. This means that around 160,000 people could not afford at least four of nine defined costs, concerning not being able to pay debts on time, not coping with unplanned costs and not affording to heat their property.
The average figure for severe material deprivation in Sweden has been at 1-2 per cent in recent years. The EU average is 6 per cent.
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