Nordea Manager Arrested in Swedish Insider Dealing Case

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A manager at Nordea Bank Abp in Stockholm was arrested on allegations of severe abuse of insider information.

The long-time Nordea employee is suspected of having leaked information obtained through his work to a friend, whose family traded on the information, Pontus Hamilton, prosecutor at the Swedish Economic Crime Authority, said by phone.

The trades, which were made in several different securities in 2019 and 2020, generated profit “in the millions” of kronor, Hamilton said. One million kronor is equivalent to $120,000. The man, along with two others, was arrested on Feb. 11. All in all, five people are suspects in the case, according to Hamilton. “It’s quite big in terms of profits compared to the insider crimes we’ve had in recent years.”

The Nordea case follows a string of market manipulation allegations in Sweden’s real estate market, implicating the top management at Fastighets AB Balder and Serneke Group AB, among others. Balder Chief Financial Officer Magnus Bjorndahl resigned in July after an arrest and long custody for disclosure offences. Serneke’s chief executive officer, Ola Serneke, recently confirmed he had posed as someone else on an online discussion forum related to stocks. An insider-dealing investigation into CEO Ilija Batljan of Samhallsbyggnadsbolaget i Norden AB was dropped in May.

The employee is “not a high-level manager” within his area, and not a member of the group’s top management, according to a Nordea spokesman. The bank declined to comment on which unit the employee worked in and whether he’s still with the bank. In general, the bank “always cooperates fully with the authorities” and “doesn’t accept breaches of internal policies or non-compliance with laws and regulations” by its employees, it said in an emailed statement.

Nordea employees are trained and tested regularly on the “strict internal policies and processes” that exist for those “who handle confidential and price-sensitive information as part of their duties,” the bank said.

Nordea shares traded 1.2% lower at 12:08 p.m. in Stockholm.

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