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Swedish roundup: Skandia lawsuit, Handelsbanken move

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  • Swedish roundup: Skandia lawsuit, Handelsbanken move

SWEDEN - Skandia, the Swedish financial services provider, is being sued by Diskrimineringsbyrån, an anti- discrimination organisation in Uppsala, for allegedly prohibiting a transsexual person from changing her name in the company register.

The woman, who was born as a man, was told in her first conversation with Skandia that the name change was not possible, as it did not fit with her legal gender.

Once the agent had checked the procedures with his supervisor, he corrected his initial statement and said anyone who applied for a name change would have to do so in writing.

Diskrimineringsbyrån argues that the woman was discriminated against.

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A press officer at Skandia said the company took such issues seriously, but did not believe it had done anything wrong.

In a statement, he said it was unfortunate that Diskrimineringsbyrån had chosen Skandia to "test" Sweden's new anti-discrimination legislation.

He also said the company did not want to use policyholders' money to pay for a settlement.

In other news, Javiera Ragnartz is taking over as chief executive at Handelsbanken's fund business.

She replaces Katja Bergqvist, who has assumed the role of chief executive of Handelsbanken Capital Markets' savings and asset management division.

Ragnartz is currently head of institutional asset management at SEB.

She will join Handelsbanken on 1 November and, until Ragnartz joins Bergqvist, will also run the fund business alongside her other duties.

Handelsbanken's fund business has SEK202bn (€25bn) in assets under management.

Handelsbanken Capital Markets' operations include investment banking, asset management, pensions and insurance.

The savings and asset management division, now run by Bergqvist, includes the fund business, life, investment centre and private banking.

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