Money laundering proves no obstacle for top fund managers in Nordics

The biggest Nordic asset managers are either holding on to, or increasing, stakes in banks like Danske Bank, Swedbank and Nordea, which are dragged down by vast money laundering scandals.
Photo: Asger Ladefoged/Ritzau Scanpix
Photo: Asger Ladefoged/Ritzau Scanpix

In a region where the concept of ethical investing is regularly held up as a goal, none of the big institutional investors contacted by Bloomberg said they would consider divesting shares of banks under investigation for laundering. Several of these have taken advantage of share price declines to add to existing stakes.

At the top of the list is Norway’s USD 1tn sovereign wealth fund, which this month underlined its intention to remain a long-term investor in the Nordic banks caught up in dirty money affairs. The biggest pension funds in Denmark and Sweden have made similar statements. The funds Bloomberg spoke to said it was their intention to stay invested in order to take on a more activist role.

"Of course we take it very seriously," said Eva Halvarsson, the chief executive officer of one of Sweden’s biggest pension funds, AP2. “We have shares in all the banks and are also cooperating with them in our role as asset managers. We follow the developments closely and have contacts at various levels.”

Already a subscriber?Log in here

Read the whole article

Get access for 14 days for free. No credit card is needed, and you will not be automatically signed up for a paid subscription after the free trial.

With your free trial you get:

  • Access all locked articles
  • Receive our daily newsletters
  • Access our app
Must contain at least 6 characters
Must contain at least 2 characters
Must contain at least 2 characters

Get full access for you and your coworkers

Start a free company trial today

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay ahead of development by receiving our newsletter on the latest sector knowledge.

Newsletter terms

Front page now

Further reading

The environmental, social and governance ratings of exchange-traded funds are set to be downgraded by index provider MSCI. | Foto: Delcia Lopez/AP/Ritzau Scanpix

Hundreds of funds set to lose ESG rating