Nordic bank bans traders from buying VW shares

UPDATED: The biggest bank in the Nordic region, Nordea, has announced it is barring its traders from buying Volkswagen shares and bonds for six months over the German manufacturer's emissions scandal.

Nordic bank bans traders from buying VW shares
A VW dealer in west Sweden. Photo: Adam Ihse/TT

“We believe this action, or lack of action, from the management is outrageous. It's poor judgment in terms of business, but it's also very costly from a financial point of view,” Sasja Beslik, head of responsible investments at Stockholm-based Nordea, told the AFP newswire.

The announcement came after Volkswagen (VW) group admitted on Thursday that it had manipulated emissions tests of its cars in Europe.
Earlier in the week its CEO stepped down following a scandal over tests in the USA.
It was not immediately clear how many cars in Scandinavia might have been affected by the scandal.
German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt told reporters in Berlin on Thursday that government investigators sent to investigate at VW's headquarters had received the latest admission from company officials.

He said that officials would “carry on working intensively to find out exactly, together with VW, in detail which vehicles are affected so that we can further inform the public.”

Dobrindt said that most of the vehicles involved in the manipulation had 1.6 or 2-litre diesel engines.

VW is “working on” a list of the affected models, but “can't yet say when it will be published,” a spokesperson for the car firm told German tabloid Bild.

The EA 189 motors involved in the emissions scandal are also found in Audi's A1, A3, A4 and A6 cars, an Audi spokesperson also confirmed to the tabloid.

Dobrindt did not say whether the vehicles affected would have to be removed from circulation.

But he added that cars from other manufacturers would now be tested to see if the problem is more widespread.

Nordea is one of the biggest banks in Scandinavia with 11 million customers.

It has made a point of promoting an ethical business strategy in recent months following a scandal which linked its CEO with free hunting trips earlier this year.


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”.