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Swedish watchdog fines two banks over funds

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Swedish watchdog fines two banks over funds
09:04 CET+01:00
The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority has fined both Swedbank and Handelsbanken for shortcomings in their depositary bank functions, the agency said in a statement on Thursday.

It has fined Swedbank 2.5 million kronor ($377,000) and Handelsbanken 3.5 million kronor, the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen, FI) said in a statement on Thursday.

The fines were issued for deficiencies in the controls, documentation, resources and division of duties for the depositary banking functions of the fund companies that hold and control bank assets.

In a statement, Swedbank said that it shared FI's view that there have been shortcomings in its depositary bank functions and that it had implemented improvements in 2008, 2009 and 2010 in this area.

"Swedbank is positive to FI's efforts to create lucid and uniform rules for financial market players and shares its view that there were shortcomings in Swedbank's depositary bank function, which have since been corrected," Thomas Backteman, head of corporate affairs, said in a statement on Thursday.

Swedbank has for several years conducted annual inspections of all its funds. Previously, in a certain year, a large number of funds were not inspected at all, according to FI.

In its decision, the agency claimed that Handelsbanken had not conducted sufficient and independent verification of the funds managed by its own management company for several years and found that it failed to maintain independence from the bank's fund management companies.

The fund companies' activities and transactions in each individual fund were not part of the investigation.

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