In Oslo, Norway on Thursday, police charged Norway’s biggest bank, DnB NOR, and two of its employees with insider trading for bond deals carried out before the government unveiled a banking-sector rescue package, Reuters reports. The charges by the police’s economic crimes unit, Okokrim, were made following an investigation into DnB NOR’s sale of 2.3 billion crowns’ ($329.1 million) worth of government bonds on Oct. 9 and Oct. 10. Police raided DnB NOR’s headquarters to secure information in the case.
Reuters reports that the bond deals took place “before the government announced its 350 billion crown banking rescue on Oct. 12 but after consultations between leading banks and the authorities about the potential shape of the bailout.” The rescue plan caused the prices of government bonds to decline. Norwegian newspapers reportedly estimated DnB NOR made a profit of 20-70 million crowns on the bond trades in question.
The bank’s CEO, Rune Bjerke, stated that he had no advance knowledge of the rescue package, even on the Sunday it was announced. “So I cannot see how I should have stopped all trading in (such government) bonds at DnB NOR,” Bjerke told reporters. Reuters reports that the two employees who have been charged are from DnB NOR Markets, the bank’s investment banking arm.