FI correct to blacklist Ström, court rules

Sweden’s Administrative Court (Förvaltningsrätten) in Stockholm
ruled that the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) was correct in its earlier decision to blacklist Pernilla Ström in regards to her activities as a director at failed firm HQ.

The court decided that Ström, as a director of HQ was responsible for
deficiencies in its subsidiary HQ Bank. These deficiencies led to the
collapse of HQ. Because of this involvement, the court found that
she is not suitable to be a diretor at Öhman Fonder, a Swedish funds house.

The issue of whether Ström should be allowed to sit as a director of a financial services firm was raised because FI earlier this year refused her permission to take on a regulated role at Öhman Fonder, when that company put in the usual regulatory request.

Ström reacted at the time by arguing that FI’s decision was unfair because it denied her the right to work, and because the decision was based on flawed use of evidence relating to the HQ case.

HQ Bank had its authorisation stripped in August 2008 after FI found it had overstated its capital position, engaged in uncontrolled and excessively risky trades, and provided misleading statements to the regulator.

Under Sweden’s liquidation rules the company was immediately placed in adminstration. HQ’s funds were under custody at SEB, so were not directly affected.

In September 2010 a deal was struck involving local competitor Carnegie to acquire the assets of HQ Bank and HQ Fonder. HQ’s funds were subsequently rebranded.


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