Fraud accusation hits Swedish PPM intermediation
Swedish fund company Scientia has lodged a compliant with police regarding allegations of fraud involving intermediary Strategi Placering, which is accused of switching client money invested via the Swedish Premium Pension platform into different funds without their knowledge.
The issue of investors in Scientia’s Positiv Pension fund has rumbled on through the past month. On 17 July, Scientia said it was delaying trading in its Positiv Pension Activ Global fund. This followed a statement on 3 July that Scientia had ended commercial agreements with Positiv Pension, after the latter announced that it had handed over all customer contracts to Strategi Placering.
At the time Scientia said in a statement: “Scientia understands that Strategi Placering is phoning existing customers at Positiv Pension and recommending a different fund in the Premium Pension system. In connection to this there are many getting in touch with us. The most common question is why customer agreements have been handed over to Strategi Placering, and what it means for the customer.”
Local newspaper Svenska Dagbladet today reported that the complaint now lodged with police suggest some SEK2.1bn (€244m) belonging to some 19,000 customers was affected by the change. Scientia alleges that much of this has been transferred to a different fund without the knowledge of customers themselves. The complaint states that this may have been driven by commission gained by Strategi Placering, the paper writes.
The PPM platform is operated by the Swedish Pensions Agency, and is used by funds to which part of compulsory savings are directed. It allows users access via pin codes. In 2011, the Agency moved to ban ‘harvesting’ of pin codes by intermediaries, which in turn were implementing automated mass switching that threatened to overwhelm both the platform and the administration systems of the funds using it.
Scientia notes on its own website that affected customers can apply for a new pin code from the Agency.