Scandal follows crisis after 35 bond funds shuttered in Sweden

The liquidity crunch that shuttered 35 bond funds in Sweden last month has revealed some disturbing truths about the country’s credit market.

“It’s reprehensible that some corporate bond funds have marketed themselves as an alternative to savings accounts,” said Frida Bratt, a savings economist at Nordnet Bank AB. | Photo: PR / Nordnet Bank

As the spread of Covid-19 across Europe triggered a sell-off in corporate bonds, investors keen to withdraw their savings in Sweden suddenly learned they couldn’t.

While the Swedish funds were legally entitled to suspend trading to ensure fair treatment for all their customers -- a process known as gating -- it now seems clear that investors weren’t aware of the risks they faced. The episode has sparked calls for funds to drastically adjust their marketing practices.

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