Skandia no longer willing to pursue case

Last week insurer Skandia made an out of court settlement with its former finance director Ulf Spång. Now, in a letter to Sweden’s chief prosecutor Christer van der Kwast, Skandia’s deputy chair Björn Björnsson states that Skandia no longer considers that Spång committed any crime and indirectly called on van der Kwast to close the enquiry.

The chief prosecutor did not rule out the possibility that Skandia knows things that he does not and hopes to receive an explanation within the next few days.

Higher commodity prices stifling growth

In its latest report the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries warned that higher commodity prices will dampen growth in 2005. Engineering firms have noted volume growth of 7.5 per cent this year with 25 per cent growth in the telecoms and electronics industries. However, higher commodity prices and an international slowdown will curb growth, which is expected to be in the region of 4.5 per cent next year.

Strategy to remind people of European values

“Well-meant but meaningless and wrongly thought out” is the verdict delivered by the Swedish government on The Netherlands plans to create a common European communication strategy, aimed at promoting public opinion about the EU and shared values.

Lars Danielsson, PM Göran Persson’s state secretary, instead believes that the debate about the EU must be conducted on a national basis, since the EU means different things to each member state.

Auditor kept quiet about irregularities

A DN survey has revealed that a number of leading politicians and union members have, over a period of years, acquired apartments via a foundation set up to help needy women. Amongst others, Gertrud Sigurdsen, was allowed the use of a maisonette when she was the minister for development aid in 1976. In addition, two commissioners have acquired apartments via the foundation and an accountant appointed by the Trade Union Confederation fixed an apartment for his son via the foundation. The accountant also kept quiet about the board irregularities.

Sony Ericsson increases market share

Sony Ericsson’s market share in Sweden was 44 per cent in August – up 7 per cent since March. In the meantime, competitor Nokia has lost a quarter of its share and now has a market share in Sweden of 31 per cent.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri



Swedish bank’s IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

A technical problem at Sweden's Swedbank on Thursday night gave customers a nasty surprise, with their account balances inexplicably going negative, payments impossible, and Swish payments no longer working.

Swedish bank's IT fault puts customer accounts in the red

By 11.30pm, more than 2,000 Swedbank customers had reported the fault to the site Downdetector, and the problem was still not solved by 17.00pm on Friday. 

“We have an ongoing IT disruption where certain customers see an incorrect balance on their accounts,” a message on the bank’s app read. “The reason is a planned update to our internal systems which went wrong. We apologise, of course, for that and are working as quickly as possible to fix the problem.” 

The Swish payment service has also been affected, with the service, which is owned collectively by Swedish banks, reporting on its site that there was a “technical disruption at Swedbank and Sparbank which might affect Swish payments from these banks”. 

Some Swedbank customers posted their negative account balances on Twitter, expressing shock at the incorrect figures. 

The disruption comes at the worst possible time for many Swedes. Many people are paid on the 25th of the month, meaning this Friday marks the start of the payday weekend. Many will have also scheduled their bill payments for this Friday. 

Marko Saric from Malmö saw his account balance drop by 1.2 million kronor, going half a million kronor into the red. 

“It’s just totally crazy,” he told SVT. “We were going to go out and shop for the weekend. It’s lovely weather and the kids want to go out, but we can’t use our card. We’ve got no cash. Everything is in the bank.” 

“You’re just completely blocked. Colleagues need to make emergency food parcels for you. It’s just crazy that something like this should happen.” 

In its statement, the bank assured customers that their money was “secure”, and that the bank still had the correct information on what their account balance should be. 

“Customers who feel that they have suffered economic damage as a result of the disruption should contact the bank,” the message said.