The Swedish Pensions Agency (Pensionsmyndigheten) announced it is suing UBS Third Party Management, a subsidiary of the Swiss bank, in the Stockholm District Court (Stockholms tingsrätt) for around $42m (€35.5m).
The agency said the UBS unit had delegated the management of some investment funds, which were marketed on Sweden’s defined contribution premium pension funds marketplace, to fund company Prognosia.
Prognosia, in turn, had carried out transactions which profited its owner, Allra, at the expense of pension savers and pensioners, said the authority, which runs the funds platform.
Lena Aronsson, general counsel at the Swedish Pensions Agency, said: “We are submitting a lawsuit to get money back that we believe pension savers and pensioners have lost in connection with UBS Third Party’s inadequate management of certain pension funds that were previously on the Swedish Pensions Agency’s fund marketplace.”
Asked for comment on the matter, a UBS spokesperson told IPE: ”We will review the claim. To date the SPA has not presented evidence that substantiates the alleged mismanagement by Prognosia.”
This latest legal move by the Swedish authority to recoup losses suffered by premium pension savers is related to another case it is currently appealing in the high court against the former premium pension provider Allra.
The judgement in that case is expected on 22 July, a spokesman for the Swedish Pensions Agency told IPE.
That appeal was lodged in February after the Stockholm District Court rejected the agency’s claim for damages of about SEK170m against four people with connections to Allra, with the agency having argued that the Allra funds paid for overpriced securities transactions back in 2012.
Regarding the new UBS lawsuit, the authority said Prognosia had invested in high-risk financial products in February 2015, which profited its owners and cost pension customers.
It argued that UBS Third Party Management was responsible for the management of funds on the premium pension marketplace, despite its delegation agreement.
Sweden’s first pillar premium pension system of individual accounts is currently undergoing a multi-stage reform, triggered in large part by scandals where rogue providers took advantage of savers.
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