Message from the Chairman of the Board of Handelsbanken, Pär Boman
I have today been questioned by prosecutor Alf Johansson regarding suspicions of receiving bribes. These suspicions are, in my opinion, groundless.
I was notified of suspicion before being questioned. This may seem to be the wrong order of doing things, since it is only during the questioning that the prosecutor can obtain information and responses to key questions. But to begin with this notification is an established practice, so that persons being questioned are fully informed of any allegations, and can refute them in the best possible manner.
The background to this is as follows: during my time as Group Chief Executive of Handelsbanken I was invited to Holmens hunting trips outside Norrköping by the Deputy Chairman of the Bank’s Board, Fredrik Lundberg. Since these hunting trips were organised by an external company, I consulted with the then Chairman of the Bank’s Board, Hans Larsson, and others before I accepted.
Consequently, my participation was completely open, and with the express consent of my principal.
In addition, since becoming Chairman of the Board, I have participated in two elk hunts. On both of these occasions, I have contacted the company organising the hunting trip on behalf of Holmen and asked to pay for the hunt. Upon receipt of the invoice, I have then paid Holmen Skog AB. I have also paid all the travel and accommodation costs myself.
According to the legal experts that I have consulted, my participation has thus been entirely in order, and in accordance with the law.
Now, however, the prosecutor is making a different assessment, initially.
My intention is to continue co-operating fully with the prosecutor and his team, in order to clarify this matter.
Linköping, Sweden. Date as above
For further information, please contact:
Pär Boman, Chairman of the Board + 46 76 894 7085
Johan Eriksson, lawyer + 46 76 894 7093