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Norwegian fraud squad raids and charges several employees at brokerage

Norway's fraud squad has charged several employees at brokerage associated with Denmark's Saxo Bank. The investigation was prompted by an inquiry by the Norwegian financial supervisory authority.

The fraud squad at Norway's police, Økokrim, has arrested several persons from the brokerage Nordic Securities and has raided the firm's offices, according to several media outlets, including DN.no.

"We conducted several actions against Nordic Securities in Oslo and Bergen last week, and an investigation is taking place following the report from the supervisory authority," the Norwegian state prosecutor, Trude Stanghelle tells DN.no.

According to DN.no., Økokrim will not provide information on how many persons have been charged, their names, or their titles, and the police also denies divulging details about the charges.

"We can only confirm that a report has been submitted to Økokrim,” Communications chief Jo Singstad tells DN.no

Nordic Securities is known in a Danish context for its former partnership with Saxo Bank.

Loss of brokerage license

The brokerage lost its license to offer investment services last year, because it had violated regulations on securities, according to a statement made by the Norwegian financial authority.

The firm was accused of violations such as aggressive and deficient investment advice to clients regarding a financial derivative known as Contract for Difference and equities trading, as well as having excessive surcharges, so clients had to have very high returns on investments to merely break even.

Nordic Securities was a so-called "white label partner" with Saxo Bank. While Nordic Securities provided specific investment advice to clients, the actual trades were executed on Saxo Bank's trading platform. Nordic Securities then received a kickback on the trading fees generated by the firm's clients.

In relation to the Norwegian authority's severe criticism last year, Saxo Bank was mentioned but not criticized in the report.

"We naturally don't think it's a good thing to be named in such a report. It pertains to a customer that had not respected regulations and is facing the consequences. That is the end of our cooperation," Søren Kyhl, COO at Saxo Bank has previously said.

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