I am proud and simultaneously humbled by the challenge of becoming Deputy President and Deputy CEO of the bank.
In the fund's yearly report, we strive to quantify positive effects on the environment and social areas from the fund’s investees.
I’m very much looking forward to joining Swedbank and to promote the growth of both people and businesses.
”During the last year, the bank has undertaken several measures to strengthen processes for the disclosure of information. Today’s decision means that yet another issue concerning the bank’s historical shortcomings, is closed.
''The price confirms that Robur New Technology has continued to deliver a very good return to our customers over both five and ten years. The Nordic region offers an attractive ecosystem for technology investments and a strong breeding ground for new technology companies. These days, it is even more obvious that the world needs new technology.''
The COVID-19 pandemic has not yet loosened its grip on Sweden and healthcare remains under tough pressure, but vaccinations are underway. Restrictions are expected to be eased gradually in the coming months, so long as the spread of coronavirus has declined significantly by then. Sweden is at the beginning of a considerable recovery where we expect household consumption to be one of the driving forces. The recovery will also get an extra boost from strong global growth.
The climate issue is a central part of Swedbank Robur's strategy and business. We have a total of 80 sustainability analysts, governance specialists and portfolio managers working together to ensure that the asset management processes steer towards our overall ambitious and tough climate goals. As part of this, each portfolio manager has documented and clarified how the climate goals should be taken into account in their respective investment process during the past year.
Although gender equality and health constantly are high up on the public agenda, there is unfortunately still much to be done. That is why we are very pleased to invest 400 MSEK in the World Bank's new Sustainable Development Bond while raising awareness of gender equality and health. These issues are important parts of a sustainable development and are also well in line with Swedbank Robur's long-standing work to improve gender equality in our investee companies through our role as large owners.
We see our work with sustainability issues as a continuous and active process, not as a project with an end date. During the year, we further processed and sharpened our Policy for responsible investments and clearly defined our value foundation, what methods we work by and what is important to us when we make an investment.
Not to sue is the best decision for the bank and for the bank’s owners.
We want to send a big and warm thank you to all those who have chosen to save in Swedbank Robur's Humanfond, together we make a concrete and positive difference. It is just as overwhelming every year to be able to participate and convey the savers' more than SEK 40 million to all fantastic organizations.
The changes aim to ensure a simple and transparent governance structure with clear decision making that supports the bank's long-term strategy in all four of Swedbank’s home markets – Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden.
The Nomination Committee’s opinion is that Swedbank's Board of Directors is functioning well. For this year, the Committee has looked for expertise within agriculture and forestry, as well as knowledge within the savings area for private customers.
We are extremely happy and proud to be appointed Fund Company of the Year 2020 by fondmarknaden.se. It is a very nice proof receipt that Swedbank Robur's long-term perspective, solid asset management skills and forward-looking teamwork are creating value for our customers. I am also very pleased that our sustainability work is highlighted in the winner motivation, as our focus is to invest in companies with sustainable business models. As an asset manager, we want to take a clear position in issues that are important to our customers, the companies we invest in and society at large.
As an increasing number of Swedes are vaccinated, restrictions will be lifted gradually. As a result, the economic outlook for this year and the next have been revised up. However, fiscal policy needs to ensure that support reaches the service sector. If not, there is a risk that the economic recovery will be delayed and happen at a slower pace.
We have for quite some time advocated an increased exchange of information between banks and with authorities in order to further strengthen our capabilities to combat and prevent money laundering and other financial crime. SAMLIT is a very promising initiative and we look forward to continuing to develop the collaboration which will be of great benefit to society.
I’m pleased to propose the general meeting to decide on a dividend for 2019. Our dividend is important, especially for investment funds, pension funds, and private shareholders as well as foundations.
The new focus goes hand in hand with our long-term perspective as investors
Collaboration cross companies and countries is essential to successfully drive change in a positive and sustainable direction. We are a proud signatory of this pledge.
We are very pleased to invest in EUROFIMA’s first green bond aimed at the Swedish market, with a focus on modernizing the railway sector in Europe. The investment goes hand in hand with Swedbank Robur's own climate strategy, where we have established our ambition to work actively to make our managed fund capital in line with the Paris Agreement by 2025 and carbon neutral by 2040.
We believe that we have closed the shortcomings identified by the EFSA. But we are not leaving the lessons learnt behind us. We are fully committed to continuing building trust among our customers and society as we are establishing systems, controls and solutions for AML/CTF.
With our sights set on an economically sound and sustainable society, we are very happy and proud to be selected for the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
The pace of the global recovery is now expected to be slower and more uneven next year, compared to what we forecasted in August.
Swedbank delivered another strong quarter in uncertain times
It is important that investors dare to be an active part of sustainable change and support companies and industries in this transition. The ambition is that Transition Energy's composition and global focus will provide a good balance between risk and potential, with portfolio companies that help contribute in driving the energy system in a more sustainable direction.
According to our experience, the overall growing awareness of the climate issue, has led to an increased customer demand for sustainable saving alternatives that puts the climate in focus. This development is completely in line with Swedbank Robur's own climate strategy, and we are very pleased to be able to offer our customers funds that are in line with the Paris Agreement for all central markets.
Swedbank already offers several kinds of green lending offerings to customers who choose more climate-friendly alternatives. Through this cooperation we also hope to contribute to scaling our joint efforts towards more climate friendly housing.
Transparency and the possibility to compare climate footprints of different kinds of funds are a central part of our work with sustainability. We want to make it easier for our customers, and at the same time hope that we can inspire other investors by taking a clear stance in issues that are important for our customers, investments and the society.
Swedbank posted a strong result in very uncertain times.
We are happy to act as structuring advisor for K2A in this matter, a role that is fully aligned with our ambition to support companies committed to reducing its carbon footprint. We believe K2A has all the prerequisites for being relevant to equity investors with a focus on the environment and reduced carbon dioxide emissions.
Our main job as a bank is to do what we can to help our customers get through this difficult situation.
We see that we, together with other players, have an important role in helping our customers with knowledge and financial support. We have been doing this for 200 years and we will continue to do so.
As the Financial Supervisory Authorities of Sweden and Estonia now have concluded their investigations, the time is right for a restart of Group Legal. Eva de Falck has contributed greatly as Chief Legal Officer. I would like to thank Eva for her efforts and hard work.
This hackathon movement was born in three of our four home markets, so it is very natural for us to support it, and we encourage both our employees, customers and peers to register and join the event. By funding the organization of the Economy track, we not only dive into topics that will help our customers and industry through these unprecedented times, but the results will also support the local communities and the society as a whole.
I am very pleased to welcome Mattias Persson to Swedbank. He has substantial experience of areas that are essential for our analysis work and our clients – areas such as the financial markets, financial stability and sustainability. Mattias is also known for his ability to communicate complex issues to a broad audience, and he will lead our team in an outstanding way.
I am very much looking forward to leading one of the most competent macroeconomic teams in the Nordic-Baltic region – and to developing Swedbank’s analysis and above all supporting the bank’s clients during a very challenging time.
Clifford Chance’s report confirms the bank’s failure. In its anti-money laundering work, the bank has not measured up to the requirements that customers, owners and society are entitled to set. We now have the facts and are working hard to solve the problems.”
In light of the great uncertainty created by the spread of the Coronavirus and its impact, the Board has decided that the appropriate thing to do in these circumstances is to postpone the AGM to a later date. We will now focus on assisting our customers in very challenging times, and together overcome these difficulties in the best possible way.
I want to simplify and clarify, which will strengthen the management team and at the same time provide more decision-making power throughout the bank.
I look forward to work with Erik Ljungberg. He will give important contributions with his broad competencies from communications, marketing and sustainability in developing the bank.
I take the findings of the Financial Supervisory Authority seriously. There has been insufficient internal governance and control to address deficiencies related to suspected money laundering. These shortcomings have meant that there has been a risk that Swedbank and its subsidiaries have been used to launder money, which is unacceptable from the requirements and expectations, among others, customers, shareholders and supervisors, have on us.
The Board sees that the combination of her broad perspective, good insight into the work to prevent financial crime and extensive knowledge of processes related to internal governance and control, will be very valuable to Swedbank.
We want to be able to provide our customers a good range of digital and mobile services and Apple Pay is a sought-after service among our customers. We are pleased to now be able to broaden our mobile payment offer with yet another secure and smart alternative, which will provide lots of added value for our customers.
We are happy to act as structuring advisor for Swedavia in this matter, a role that is fully aligned with our ambition to support people and companies making sustainable choices. As a major bank in the Nordics and influential actor in society, we have a responsibility and a key role to play in accelerating the transition towards a sustainable economy.
I am proud and enthusiastic about being the CEO of Swedbank. We have an extensive activity plan that I am familiarising myself with and will develop, but above all and foremost I am looking forward – every day and together with my colleagues – to making banking easier for our customers.
We are very pleased to be ranked in top. It is a clear acknowledgment that our continuously work with sustainability and responsible investments, and our employees' commitment to these issues, really makes a difference.
We are continuing our journey towards becoming a world leader in sustainable value creation, and we are very happy and proud of all the knowledge and expertise we have within Swedbank Robur. Our latest recruitments give us further reinforcement in the form of several experienced and recognized talented employees with a deep understanding of the market and our customers' needs.
We are happy and proud to be among the hundred best companies in the world, and ranked as the top three of all companies in Sweden. This top ranking in Sweden confirms that what we do give results and that we are on the right track. Now we will continue our work with even more energy and determination, and to contribute to a positive development going forward.
The change in leadership will take Swedbank Estonia forward. Olavi Lepp and Anna Kõuts are both experienced banking leaders and have contributed strongly to the development of Swedbank.
We actively and continuously work to integrate sustainability throughout our whole business. The UN's principles for responsible banking are well aligned with the Bank's fundamental commitment to sustainability, where we want to create long-term value for all our stakeholders and contribute to a more sustainable society.