Swedbank cuts management team in revamp after laundering probe
(Reuters) – Swedbank said on Monday its chief risk officer was leaving as the Swedish bank revamps its structure to regain customer trust after a money laundering scandal in its Baltic branches sent its shares down 40% in the past year.
Helo Meigas will leave the bank along with head of Baltic Banking Charlotte Elsnitz, the bank said in a statement on Monday. Gunilla Hallros and Jon Lidefelt will take over, respectively, in an interim capacity. The search for permanent replacements has already started, the bank said.
The departures are part of an organizational revamp aimed at boosting confidence in the Swedish lender and simplifying its structure, said chief executive Jens Henriksson.
“Today I introduce a new executive team to develop Swedbank and strengthen trust. Consequently, some executives leave the bank,” he said. “I also initiate an assessment of the corporate culture in Swedbank”.
The bank also said it would merge several business units, including its IT and digital banking divisions, while Swedbank Pay and payment infrastructure functions will be integrated within the Large Corporates & Institutions department.
It said responsibility for the ongoing internal and external investigations into “historical shortcomings in anti-money laundering work” would be moved to a new Special Task Force unit, reporting directly to Henriksson.
As a result of the merger of the bank’s product units, the head of Group Lending & Payments Leif Karlsson will leave the bank in early 2020, it added.
Swedbank said there would be 14 people in group management following the changes, down from 17 previously.
(Reporting by Colm Fulton; editing by Mike Harrison)
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