SEB posts bumper profits

Swedish bank SEB exceeded market expectations on Wednesday as it posted a first quarter operating profit of 1.075 billion kronor ($147 million), more than double the figure forecast by analysts.

SEB’s interim report showed operating profits down from 1.802 billion kronor for the same period last year, but the first quarter total far outstripped the 462 million kronor forecast in analyses collated by news agency Reuters.

“SEB has recorded a solid result given the slowly recovering macro-economic climate. With the fortress balance sheet created last year we can continue to further deepen our customer relationships and invest in our strong corporate franchise”, said CEO Annika Falkengren in a statement.

SEB’s operating income came to 9.372 billion kronor, down 18 percent on the first quarter 2009.

Operating expenses for the bank totalled 6.367 billion kronor, while provision for credit losses amounted to 1.926 billion kronor

Falkengren said the report showed the bank was returning to normal after the financial crisis.

“It was a quarter without any one-off effects. It feels good. We’re clearly showing that we can see a glimmer of light in the Baltics,” she told news agency TT.

SEB halved its credit losses in the region, which was hit hard by the global financial meltdown.

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Police to investigate Nordea bank over money laundering

Danish police will investigate the Swedish bank Nordea after a year-long probe by regulators into money laundering led to "criticism" of its procedures, the bank said Friday.

Police to investigate Nordea bank over money laundering
Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Detectives will examine how money laundering rules were followed at the bank's Danish subsidiary and could result in “sanctions”, Nordea said in a statement.

“We realize that we initially underestimated the complexity and the time it takes to change our procedures,” said Nordea chief executive Casper von Koskull.

The bank added that 850 Nordea employees are currently involved in the fight against money laundering which the bank plans to increase to 1,150 by the end of the year.

In May 2015 the bank was fined 50 million kronor (€5.4 million euros) – the maximum possible – by Swedish regulators who accused Nordea of “not following money laundering rules for several years” and failing to “evaluate the risks of (doing business with) certain clients”.