STOCKHOLM May 30 The Swedish Shareholders' Association said it would file a formal complaint against Swedbank Robur, one of Scandinavia's largest mutual fund managers, for marketing two large funds as "actively managed" when they have largely tracked indexes.
Fed up with high fund management fees, an increasing number of investors around the world have grown more critical of funds sold as "active" when they actually track an index.
The Swedish association, which defends small shareholders and has more than 70,000 members, said on Friday it planned to file a complaint on Wednesday on behalf of at least 10 clients who had invested in two equity funds - Kapitalinvest and Allemansfond Komplett - from Swedbank Robur.
Swedbank Robur said it was not aware of any lawsuit being filed and had no comment on the matter.
The shareholders say the funds have mostly followed indexes and have consistently failed to outperform those benchmarks for the past decade.
"You expect to get what you buy," Albin Rannar, the association's head of market monitoring, told Reuters. "Active asset management offers the possibility to achieve over-performance relative to the index, and they haven't been able to deliver this."
He added, "It's up to them to explain why they haven't delivered on their promise and to compensate."
Rannar said that, depending on Swedbank Robur's response, its complaint could wind up in court and that clients might seek damages.
Swedbank Robur manages combined assets of over 90 billion euros ($122.5 billion)for 3.1 million customers in Sweden and 1.1 million in the Baltic region. The association said 1 million Swedes hold about 70 billion crowns ($10.6 billion) in assets in the two specific funds it is complaining about.
($1 = 6.6351 Swedish Crowns)
($1 = 0.7345 Euros) (Reporting by Mia Shanley; editing by Jane Baird)