HQ to seek damages from ex-management

HQ to seek damages from ex-management
Swedish investment bank HQ, which was forced into liquidation last year, said Monday it aimed to seek compensation from former board members, top executives and the company accountant for its woes.

HQ AB, the former parent company of the defunct bank, said in a statement it planned to propose “that compensation to the company be demanded from former board members, the chief executive and the accountant (KPMG).

“Beyond that, the board could also demand compensation from former leading executives in HQ AB and HQ Bank,” it said, adding that the proposal would be presented at an extraordinary shareholders meeting on April 18.

HQ Bank, which managed around 60 billion kronor ($9.4 billion) from some 20,000 depositors, was taken over by its competitor Carnegie for 268 million kronor last September after authorities at the end of August revoked its licences and forced it into liquidation.

The bank’s former parent company HQ AB, which is the only independent part of the company remaining, said it considered the dividends paid out in 2009 and 2010, relating to the accounting years 2008 and 2009, were illegal.

It said it planned to demand the repayment of money paid out “in poor faith,” and that it wanted compensation of around 330 million kronor in total.

HQ AB also said it had been conducting a probe into the bank’s collapse but had run into difficulty since HQ Bank’s new owner Carnegie had refused to cooperate.

The HQ AB board said it was therefore considering pushing for a court injunction to force Carnegie to hand over the requested documents.

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