Nordea Analysts Behind ‘Lockdownistas’ Note to Leave Bank
(Bloomberg) -- Two senior analysts at Nordea Bank Abp who wrote a controversial research report criticizing coronavirus measures including national lockdowns are to leave the bank.
An offer had been made to Chief Analyst Martin Enlund and Global Chief Strategist Andreas Steno Larsen to continue at Nordea Markets, “but they have decided to leave,” the bank said in a statement on Monday. Nordea declined to comment on the position and terms the men had been offered.
The departures follow a review into the retracted Nov. 20 research note that was found to contain “statements and references that are not consistent with” Nordea’s code of conduct and values, the bank said.
The analysts had been suspended from publishing after writing the note in which they referred to governments battling Covid-19 as “lockdownistas” and questioned the efficacy of the vaccines, including saying that “the vaccine is apparently so good that you need to force people into taking it.” Their research also offered advice on how to trade against the official response to the pandemic.
Steno Larsen declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg, and Enlund did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“To ensure high quality of Nordea Markets publications, we are strengthening our editorial procedure, research publication process and compliance guidelines,” said Martin Persson, head of the division that contains Nordea Markets.
Enlund, 45, who joined Nordea in 2014 as chief analyst, previously worked at Svenska Handelsbanken AB for nine years doing economic analysis. Steno Larsen has spent the bulk of his career, more than 10 years, at Nordea in various foreign exchange market roles, working his way up to become chief global strategist on macro, FX and rates in February 2020.
Both have frequently criticized official responses to the pandemic on Twitter, posting charts peppered with memes and using hashtags such as #dumbflation.
The Nordea analysts aren’t the only ones who have landed in hot water for controversial remarks in their research. Last year, Deutsche Bank AG analyst Jan Schildbach slammed the “qualifications” of German regulators as well as a “failed” government-backed pension system, prompting an apology from the bank’s Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing.
In 2019, UBS Group AG put its chief economist on temporary leave over remarks he made on pork in China. Commerzbank AG withdrew a research note from its Wirecard AG analyst after she dismissed reporting on the company by the Financial Times as “fake news.”
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