Ingrid Harbo, Swedbank’s chief compliance officer during a tumultuous period, announced Tuesday she will retire in March 2022.
Harbo was named Swedbank’s permanent chief compliance officer in September 2019 as the bank was under fire amid allegations it was used to launder billions of dollars out of Russia. The turmoil led the bank to fire its then-chief executive officer, Birgitte Bonnesen, in March 2019.
When Harbo took over, Swedbank was facing anti-money laundering (AML) investigations in Sweden, Estonia, and the United States. She “played an important role in the bank’s work to remedy the shortcomings that among other things were detected in connection to the AML crisis,” the bank stated in a press release.
“I’m happy and proud that we have taken substantial steps in the transformation of the compliance function and that Swedbank gradually continues to strengthen its controls and processes,” Harbo said in the release.
Harbo has been with Swedbank since 2011, having previously served as chief audit executive responsible for overseeing the bank’s group internal audit division, according to her LinkedIn profile. She has worked in a variety of compliance and audit leadership roles in her career, including with Norwegian bank Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) and Danske Bank, dating back to 2001.
Harbo’s last day will be March 31, 2022. Swedbank will now launch a search for her successor.
“Ingrid Harbo has with her competence, experience, and integrity strongly contributed to our ability to close several historical issues, in line with the closure of several authorities´ investigations,” stated President and CEO Jens Henriksson. “I would like to express my gratitude for her efforts and wish her all the best in the new phase of life.”
Swedbank agreed to pay a $390 million administrative fine in March 2020 to settle charges stemming from the investigations in Sweden and Estonia. A fresh investigation into potential insider trading violations was launched by a Swedish regulator later in 2020, and the bank also that year notified U.S. regulators it might have committed sanctions violations through $4.8 million worth of financial transactions processed through its branches in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
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