Don't believe the Swedbank collapse rumors

Rumors in Latvia that Swedbank is on the brink of collapse are just that–rumors. Swedbank is very profitable, and its Baltic division has benefited from strong economic recovery in the region.

In this file photo, Swedbank Chief Executive Officer Michael Wolf presents the company's fourth-quarter results during a news conference last year. Rumors of Swedbank's collapse are circulating in Latvia, but the company is perfectly healthy, Karlsson argues.

Suddenly, an old post about Swedbank from 2008 that normally these days are read a few times a week (or not at all) got more than 1000 views in a day-the vast majority from people from Latvia. I was at first puzzled at the sudden massive interest in that more than 3 year old post, but then I read that a rumor has been spread in Latvia that Swedbank will collapse, and since the post was high on the list of several google searches, many have clicked on it, presumably because they wrongly thought that it was written recently and not in September 2008 (they really should start to learn to limit their search to web pages published in recent days).

The rumor itself is BTW of course completely unfounded. Swedbank is a very profitable bank as their latest report shows, and even their baltic division is profitable these days thanks to the strong economic recovery there. Nor is there in this case much of a liquidity problem despite the mass withdrawals since the Swedbank Baltic division can get as much liquidity it needs from its Swedish mother company-who in turn can get as much liquidity it needs from the Swedish central bank. However, the mass withdrawals have in some cases emptied Swedbank ATM:s in Latvia, though these should be filled again in a few days.

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