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HQ Bank under investigation for fraud

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HQ Bank under investigation for fraud
12:55 CEST+02:00
The Swedish Economic Crime Authority (Ekobrottsmyndigheten, EBM) is launching an investigation into suspected fraud and accounting crimes at HQ Bank.

"In FI's report, which EBM is in possession of, there is reason to suspect that HQ Bank in its accounts, has left erroneous information regarding the value of its trading portfolio," state prosecutor Berndt Berger said to news agency TT.

This has meant that the annual and interim reports have given an erroneous picture of the bank's financial standing.

"I have thus decision to open an investigation into serious accountancy crimes and fraud."

Berger underlined that the the requirement on evidence in order to open an investigation is not particularly high and no individuals are currently under suspicion.

"No. It is for obvious reasons that no one has been interviewed yet - you have to have opened a preliminary investigation before you hold any interrogations."

In answer to a question from news agency TT over which people may become suspects in the case, Berndt Berger replied:

"I am not going to go into the question of who or which people can be subject to suspicion. The most significant reason for this is that I do not want people to learn of criminal suspicions through the mass media."

It was also announced on Friday that Carnegie had signed a deal to take over HQ Bank, with payment amounting to 268 million kronor ($36.8 million) to settle employee stock options and client obligations.

While HQ Bank remains formally in liquidation, following Carnegie's acquisition operations can be conducted until the two firms are merged, according to the Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen - FI).

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