February 22, 2010 / 10:15 AM / 10 years ago

Sweden's Swedbank appoints bad debt expert

STOCKHOLM, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Swedbank (SWEDa.ST) said on Monday it had appointed an expert in bank reconstruction and problem loans to help it handle soured credits in the Baltic, Sweden and other countries.

Swedbank plunged to a 9.5 billion Swedish crown ($1.32 billion) operating loss in 2009 as it was forced to take massive provisions against bad loans in the Baltic region — where it is a top player — and Ukraine.

Swedbank said it had appointed Arne Berggren, a former government official who played a key role in Sweden’s response to its banking crisis in the 1990s, as head of Financial Reconstruction and Recovery.

Berggren has also been a senior advisor to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

Swedbank has set up teams in Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia to handle a mountain of bad debts triggered by the global financial crisis. The bank has also created a unit to manage and sell repossessed assets.

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