Ex-CEO of Swedbank Escapes Legal Battle After Laundering Scandal

The ousted chief executive of Swedbank AB, Birgitte Bonnesen, is no longer facing a legal battle with her former employer after its lawyers advised against a drawn out and costly process.

Bonnesen, who was fired in early 2019 amid concerns she misled the public on the extent to which Swedbank had allegedly handled suspicious transactions via its Baltic operations, is still being investigated by Sweden’s public prosecutor for gross market manipulation and unauthorized disclosure of insider information. A decision on whether or not to prosecute is expected before the summer.

But Swedbank says it won’t move ahead with a lawsuit because its chances of winning are low, according to a statement on Thursday.

The decision comes as the lender continues to be under investigation in Europe and the U.S. for its alleged role in handling billions of dollars in dirty money from the former Soviet Union. Swedbank was handed the largest fine in Swedish regulatory history last year for failing to live up to anti-money laundering requirements.

Bonnesen won’t be getting the severance package previously agreed with Swedbank, its board said on Thursday.

Swedbank’s board, which has been chaired by former Swedish prime minister, Goran Persson, since June 2019, hired Clifford Chance to look into the liability issues related to Bonnesen and Idermark. The bank also brought in a battery of legal consultants, including attorney and adjunct professor of corporate law Carl Svernlov, Baker McKenzie Advokatbyra, as well as Mannheimer Swartling Advokatbyra to look into the case.

“The conclusion from these legal investigations, and the analyses of the legal circumstances and other considerations, is that Swedbank should refrain from filing claims for damages,” the board said. “The likelihood of success is considered extremely low.”

The decision also applies to another fired Swedbank CEO, Michael Wolf, the board said.

Story Link: Swedbank Board Won’t File Claims Against Former CEO or Chairman

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