Swedbank is sentenced for unjustified termination of Widar Nord's account

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Published 12 October 2021 at 12.39

Domestic. Swedbank violated the Payment Services Act when the bank withdrew the bank account for Fria Tider's founder and editor-in-chief Widar Nord with reference to “lack of customer knowledge”. This is stated by the Stockholm District Court in a judgment today.

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The district court rules that the termination was invalid and now obliges Swedbank to strike Widar Nord's closed bank account again within 20 days.

“The bank has not been able to prove that there were special or other reasons to dismiss Widar Nord's payment account with basic functions. The district court therefore considers that the bank's dismissal was unfounded, ie was unjustified “, it says in the judgment.

– Banks have long used the Money Laundering Act's requirement for customer knowledge as a reasons to get rid of customers they want to get rid of for completely different reasons, for example for political reasons. This ruling is a welcome clarification that banks may not abuse the regulations in that way, says lawyer Carl Ridderstråle, who represented Widar Nord in the case, to Fria Tider.

Since Swedbank loses the case, the bank must now pay itself both their own and Widar Nord's legal costs. In total, it is about 800,000 kronor.