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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 19.10.2019, 13:09

Swedbank suspends CEO, CFO of Estonian operation amid internal probe

BC, Riga, 18.06.2019.Print version
The supervisory board of Swedbank Estonia has decided that the chair of the management board and CEO of Swedbank Estonia, Robert Kitt, and the chief financial officer and management board member of Swedbank Estonia, Vaiko Tammevali, will both leave their positions in the management board and have been suspended until further notice, informed LETA/BNS.

Furthermore, member of the supervisory board Priit Perens will end his employment with the bank and has left the supervisory board, Swedbank announced on Monday night.

The changes will take immediate effect.

Contacted by Postimees, Kitt said he couldn't comment on the decision of the supervisory board.

"The post of manager of Swedbank Estonia unfortunately comes with the risk that at one moment the supervisory board may invite you to a talk and suspend your powers. They don't have to substantiate it," Kitt said.

Asked if it was true that he wasn't offered the reasons for his suspension, Kitt responded that there was a conversation, but further questions should be addressed to the chair of the supervisory board.

"What I'm feeling inside is one thing, but this is a risk that you take being the chairman of the management board," Kitt said when asked whether he believes that the decision of the supervisory board was justified.

"I would leave that unanswered," Kitt said when asked whether he was aware of suspicious money of non-residents having moved through Swedbank.

The supervisory board elected Olavi Lepp, currently chief risk officer, as acting chairman of the management board and acting CEO of Swedbank Estonia and Anna Kouts, currently head of treasury, as acting CFO and acting member of the management board. Both these changes are subject to approval from competent authorities.

Swedbank said the changes in the management board of Swedbank Estonia were a consequence of an ongoing internal investigation.

"We are fully committed to the Estonian market and to all our employees, customers and other stakeholders. Estonia is one of four home markets of Swedbank. We will continue developing Estonian’s leading bank with society and customers in focus," said Charlotte Elsnitz, head of Baltic banking at Swedbank and chair of the supervisory board of Swedbank Estonia.

"As previously communicated, Swedbank has initiated an in-depth internal investigation with the help of external resources to investigate historical AML compliance and Swedbank will continuously act upon the conclusions of the investigations. In addition, Swedbank is fully cooperating with the authorities in Sweden, the US and the Baltic countries in their respective investigations," Elsnitz added.

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