“These reports are spread in social networks, as well as sent via text messages, e-mail or phone. We would like to warn our customers that it’s misleading information without any logical basis to it and we urge to ignore it,” the bank said in a press release.
The bank reminds that people who spread rumors and misleading information may be prosecuted under national law.
Meanwhile, the media reports about the queues of customers lining up at the bank’s branches in Tauragė, Šilutė, Pagėgiai, and other towns in the western part of the country.
This is not the first time for Swedbank to be hit by misleading reports. In December 2011, rumors spread in Latvia saying that Sweden’s Swedbank was about to close down and the bank’s executives in Estonia and Sweden had been detained. Reports about alleged difficulties faced by Swedbank then appeared in Lithuania’s web portals.
At that time, Lithuania’s Swedbank asked the State Security Department (VSD) to identify the sources of rumors so as to stop their spread.
Swedbank group reported a net profit of 112 million litas (EUR 32.5m) for the first quarter of this year, up 16 percent from 96 million litas in the same period last year. The group’s assets rose by 4.2 percent, or 808 million litas, between January and March, to reach 20.183 billion litas at the end of the first quarter.
All banks stable and reliable
All Lithuania’s banks operate in a stable and reliable manner, the central Bank of Lithuania said in response to panic about the operations of Swedbank triggered in Western Lithuania by misleading reports.
“Swedbank as well as other Lithuania’s banks meet all prudential requirements established by the Bank of Lithuania and operate in a stable and reliable manner. Hence the reports being spread are totally unfounded and untrue,” Giedrius Simonavičius, the central bank’s spokesman, told BNS.
The results of the latest stress tests showed that the banking system was capable of withstanding much bigger shocks than artificial panic fuelled by misleading and unfounded reports, he added.