Nordea: refugees lift GDP

Nordea predicts that Sweden’s GDP will grow by around 0.5 per cent in both 2016 and 2017 as a result of refugee arrivals. The assessment is based on the Swedish Migration Agency’s (Migrationsverket) estimate that around 300,000 people will seek asylum in Sweden 2015-2017.
The growth in immigration expected in 2016 will cause the workforce to grow, which “raises Swedish growth potential and reduces the negative economic effects of an ageing population,” writes Torbjörn Isaksson, head analyst.

Clausen steps down from Nordea

Christian Clausen is resigning from the post as chief executive of Nordea, and denies any conflict between himself and Björn ‘Nalle’ Wahlroos, chair of the board of Nordea. Clausen’s successor Casper von Koskull, who was recruited to the bank in 2010 by Clausen, says that his predecessor’s financial targets and strategy for the bank, presented in the spring, remain unchanged.

Meanwhile the Financial Supervisory Authority (FI) is said to have been hesitant to Clausen continuing in the post as Nordea’s chief executive after the bank’s failed efforts to properly tackle money laundering. In May the Swedish regulator issued a warning to Nordea and the maximum fine of SKr 50 million over its lax anti-money laundering controls.

According to what sources have told Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) the Authority’s criticism of Clausen triggered his resignation. Clausen himself denies this in an interview with Dagens Industri (DI), “There is no conflict. We’re agreed on what will happen and we’ve run this process together. ‘Nalle’ has also asked if I want to sit on the board of Sampo, which I would like to do.” He also describes the FSA’s criticism and fine as his biggest failure as CEO of the bank.

Clausen leaves his post with a pension worth over SKr 140 million.

Hunt for new Nordea CEO

A press conference held by the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority last month turned into something of a nightmare for Nordea and CEO Christian Clausen. For the third time within five years the bank received scathing criticism for its inability, negligence and bad practices when dealing with money laundering.

Svenska Dabladet suggests that the bank’s lax anti-money laundering controls have damaged Christian Clausen’s reputation and that this is why the bank is now reportedly hunting for a new CEO. According to Denmark’s daily newspaper Berlingske, Mikael Rasmussen, CEO of Danish Nykredit, and Torbjörn Magnusson, CEO of insurer IF, are prospective candidates for the post.