Swedbank freezes bonuses
The board of Swedbank has announced a freeze on bonus payments to executives. A total of 17 million kronor will however still be paid out due to contractual obligations. The bank’s CEO, Michael Wolf, would not confirm whether the bank had come under pressure from shareholders to shelve more than 400 million kronor in planned bonuses.“This is a once-off decision in light of the bank’s losses and state supports and should not be interpreted as a change in the bank’s compensation system,” said Wolf in a statement.
The Swedish government has criticized Swedish bank’s plans to pay millions of kronor in bonuses, given they received state guarantees in the wake of last year’s financial crisis.
The decision was welcomed by Swedbank’s largest shareholder, the insurance company Folksam.
“Under 2009 all banks benefited from state support, given to ensure stability in the financial system. We have even invested more capital into the bank during the year so it is appropriate to review the compensation scheme,” said Carina Lundberg Markow, a spokesperson for Folksam.
”This is important for the general public’s trust in the bank and for the whole financial system.”