• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3
'I am the whistleblower': sacked Swedbank CEO
Michael Wolf claimed that he had himself reported the non-compliant transactions. Photo: Anders Ahlgren/SvD/TT

'I am the whistleblower': sacked Swedbank CEO

AFP/The Local · 13 Feb 2016, 14:40

Published: 13 Feb 2016 14:40 GMT+01:00

“If this prosecution is about that, then I myself am the whistleblower,” Wolf told Sweden's leading business newspaper Dagens Industri in an interview published on Saturday. 
 
Wolf, ranked as 9th best executive in the world by the Harvard Business Review, was summarily sacked on Tuesday after seven years as Swedbank's chief executive. 
 
On Friday, the bank revealed that it had also reported him to the Financial Supervisory Authority after identifying “transactions that ‘can be assumed to’ constitute criminal offences”.
 
In the interview, Wolf conceded that he had made an error, making private investments in companies on a list of firms Swedbank's senior executives are barred from investing in to ensure compliance with insider trading rules.  
 
He said that bank’s procedures had changed in August 2015, and that executives in Swedbank’s private banking division had mistakenly bought shares for his pension portfolio which had been on the bank's “stop list”.
 
The transactions were sent to the bank's compliance division for approval before they were enacted, he added. 
 
Wolf claimed that when the mistake came to light he himself had reported the deals to the bank's chairman Anders Sundström. 
 
“I know which companies this concerns, and I made losses on them. I assume that this is what this is about.“
 
Wolf said that at a board meeting last week he had asked the board to give the private banking arm complete control over the management of his portfolio, so he would no longer have any knowledge or say on which shares were purchased. 
 
“It is important for me to manage transactions in a good way and that’s why I have used the private banking division, and I am sure that I have never been close to insider dealing. I am absolutely convinced that the investigation will come to the same conclusion. “
 
He dismissed speculation that his sudden departure followed a falling out with Anders Sundström, the bank’s chairman. 
 
“I was surprised that I was laid off, but it is the board’s full power to dismiss and appoint the CEO. I do not feel that I have had a conflict with Anders Sundström.” 
 
“He has been a good chairman for me. We have shared the same vision and have had almost daily contact." 
 
Story continues below…
But he said he nonetheless found the situation “incredibly unpleasant and unfair”. 
 
“When it was just a dismissal, I didn’t feel so much about it, but this makes it different. It is important for me to defend my honour.” 
 
Asked by Dagens Industri if he had enemies who might wish to smear him, he was tight-lipped. 
 
“Everybody in a high-up position has friends and enemies.”
 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Migration agency ’to get rid of LGBT experts’
Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

An internal report looking at ways to make Sweden’s Migration Agency more efficient has proposed the agency gets rid of specialists dedicated to LGBT-related issues. The move has prompted the country’s main gay rights group to see red.

Sweden's Spotify hits 39 million subscribers
Spotify is gaining listeners. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT

Spotify has grown by nine million paying subscribers in five months, fending off competition from rivals.

Prosecutor wants asylum stabber convicted of murder
Prosecutor Linda Wiking. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

The man was convicted of aggravated manslaughter for stabbing a worker to death at a home for young refugees in Sweden.

Old Swedish cash worth billions still in circulation
Old Swedish money. Photo: Micke Larsson/TT

Hand in your invalid Swedish bills to the bank by the end of the month.

Sweden moves to battle high rate of drug deaths
Sweden has among Europe's highest drug-induced mortality rates. Photo: Stian Lysberg Solum/NTB/TT

Sweden has among the highest number of drug-related deaths in the EU despite its zero-tolerance policy. The government wants to find out why.

Human skeleton found on abandoned farm in Sweden
Police at the farm in Hörby. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect human remains found in a well on an abandoned farm in rural Sweden belonged to a man who was murdered.

The Local List
You'll never really be Swedish without trying this weird food
Kebab pizza. It exists. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The Local's intern Saina Behnejad on her love-hate relationship with Swedish cuisine.

Sweden's Stenson pulls out of Barclays with injured knee
Henrik Stenson at the Olympics this summer. Photo: AP Photo/Alastair Grant

Henrik Stenson's injury throws doubt on Europe's chances at next month's Ryder Cup.

The Local Recipes
How to make this delicious Swedish crayfish pasta
Swedish crayfish pasta. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Combine the Swedish favourite of crayfish with pasta to impress with this simple yet tasty dish.

Drunken Christmas goat burner risks four years in jail
The Christmas goat looks at the fireworks and contemplates its future. Photo: Mats Åstrand/TT

His singed eyebrows were a dead giveaway.

Sponsored Article
Malmö to host global skateboard championship
Travel
What are Sherpas doing on Sweden's highest mountain?
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Gallery
People-watching: August 24th
The Local Voices
'I want to be a businesswoman but I don’t care about money'
Blog updates

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
The mystique of Asia - in the middle of Stockholm
National
Experts: Gothenburg grenade blast is 'part of a cycle of violence'
Sponsored Article
Why you should learn to trade (and just how easy it is)
Gallery
Property of the week: Karlsborg
National
Why Sweden could change its criticised detention laws
National
Watch this dog's reaction when she tries Swedish fermented herring
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
Gallery
People-watching: August 19th-21st
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
National
How to find student housing in Sweden
National
VIDEO: Swede films first Northern Lights of the season
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Gallery
People-watching: August 17th
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Swedish population nears ten million
The Local Voices
This Syrian artist found love in a Swedish library
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Sex pigs halt traffic after laser attack on Pokémon teens. Only in Sweden.
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Gallery
Property of the week: Hammarby Sjöstad, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
Drunk knight detained in Stockholm
National
Can you solve this Swede's strange Star Wars mystery?
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Gallery
People-watching: August 12th-14th
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
National
Swedes cheer first snow of the season
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Gallery
People-watching: August 10th
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The Local Voices
Syrian presenter: Swedish media should make more shows in Arabic
Sponsored Article
6 simple travel hacks that will make your life easier
Travel
Watch the meteor shower in Sweden
Lifestyle
How to survive a crayfish party
The Local Voices
Gabriel mastered Swedish and got accepted onto a medicine degree in just 7 months
3,375
jobs available