Allra, one of the largest fund managers in the Swedish public premium system, has systematically used aggressive marketing methods, mostly through telemarketing, to promote its savings products to Swedish citizens. The company has used misleading arguments to “advise” Swedish citizens to shift their premium pension savings to the company’s funds.
But Allra’s funds have underperformed significantly and were some of the worst performing funds offered on the market. This is partly explained by the excessive fees, but also because of alleged fraudulent internal transactions at the fund saver’s expense. Allra is accused of having paid hundreds of millions of Swedish krona in excess for services from a company with ownership links to the owners of Allra, through a subsidiary in Dubai.
In March 2017, the Swedish Pension Authority delisted Allra’s funds from the system and reported the company to the police. The former auditor also filed a report to the police. An investigation is still ongoing by the Swedish National Economic Crimes Bureau. The investigation concerns suspicions of gross breach of trust, gross accounting violation and money laundering.
The scandal has fueled a debate in Sweden about reforming the Swedish premium pension system. The Pension Authority has proposed several changes, including reducing the number of available funds in the premium system and banning telephone-based marketing and fund advice.