• Sweden's news in English

Swedbank to ditch bonuses for 2009

David Landes · 27 Jan 2010, 08:25

Published: 27 Jan 2010 08:25 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The bank announced on Tuesday that its board had decided to “cancel variable remuneration for 2009” in cases where employment contracts give it “a discretionary right” to make such decisions.

“This is a unique decision in the light of the bank's losses and government efforts, and should not be interpreted as a signal that we have changed our view regarding the basic principles for the bank's remuneration system,” Swedbank CEO Michael Wolf said in a statement.

“There is still a strong consensus that a system combining fixed and variable remuneration is the most efficient system to create value for customers and shareholders in the long term. However, going forward we will emphasize the long-term component of the total remuneration.”

The move means that the 406 million kronor ($55.5 million) set aside for bonus payments up until the third quarter of 2009 will be returned, bringing Swedbank’s variable compensation payments for the year down to 17 million kronor.

Swedish finance minister Anders Borg has long been critical of what he saw as excessive bonus payments in light of lower profits at banks in the wake of the financial crisis.

Earlier in January he accused banks of ignoring a new set of rules governing bonus payments recently drawn up by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen – FI), and threatened to explore even stricter rules if banks didn’t change their behaviour.

“The fact that they (the banks) aren’t hearing these signals which have been very clear is a provocation,” Borg told the TT news agency earlier in January.

Swedbank board chairman Carl Eric Stålberg said the decision came following a number of “complex considerations”.

Story continues below…

“At first glance it might seem a simple decision to cancel variable remuneration during a year when the bank is reporting substantial loan loss provisions. But our mission is to protect the shareholders' investment and to safeguard the bank's competitiveness, both in the short-term and the long-term perspective”, Stålberg said in a statement.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

10:34 January 27, 2010 by Twiceshy
Good. In fact this should be a no brainer. If any worker royally fucks up, almost sinking his entire company, he's not entitled to a bonus. It immediately follows that bankers don't deserve any bonuses, especially when taxpayer money is being used to prop them up.
12:03 January 27, 2010 by Nemesis
The bank still has not made any corporate changes since the start of the economic crisis.

They made no changes due to previous economic crisis's either. They intend to be the same boom and bust bank.

Swedbank's corporate set up is a disaster. Everyone above branch manager in Swedbank should be fired, let alone giving back bonus's.
Today's headlines
The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available