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SEB settles with wealthy widow over bad advice

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17:48 CET+01:00
After a decade receiving misguided investment advice, an 89-year-old Swedish woman has negotiated a settlement with the SEB bank worth hundreds of thousands of kronor.

“I don't think there are many old people out there who were deceived like I was,” Lillie Clinell told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Clinell inherited several million kronor when her husband died 20 years ago. At the time, she decided to start banking with SEB bank, seeking advice from bank staff about how best to invest and administer the inheritance.

“I figured it was a trustworthy bank and I trusted the adviser I was assigned; we ended up becoming friends,” said Clinell

But after a while, the 89-year-old's daughter became suspicious when she realized that the balances in her mother's accounts kept shrinking.

As it turns out, SEB has advised Clinell to place her money in endowment insurance policies, several of which resulted in heavy losses.

In addition, some of the policies Clinell was advised to purchase when she was 85 years old were only due to mature if she reached her 105th birthday.

“My daughter found one mistake after another. I felt relaxed and secure, but the whole time they had gone behind my back in all sorts of ways,” Clinell said of SEB.

When Clinell and her daughter confronted the bank about its questionable investment advice, SEB representatives admitted they had failed to properly advise the widow.

They recently agreed to pay Clinell 700,000 kronor ($100,000) in compensation in an out-of-court settlement, Sveriges Television (SVT) news programme Aktuellt reports.

The bank refused to comment to SVT on the matter.

While Clinell is satisfied with the financial aspect of the settlement, she fears that others may also be victimized by their willingness to trust.

“It feels like you can't trust people and I think this happens to a lot of old people without them realizing it,” Clinell told Aftonbladet.

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