Swedbank to take over Barclays Rise in Lithuania

Swedbank to take over Barclays Rise in Lithuania

Swedbank is to take over Barclays financial technology centre, Rise Vilnius, following the UK bank's decision to shutter its operations in Lithuania.

Barclays announced its intentions to close down its operations centre in Lithuania in December, transferring 460 staff to HCL Technologies as part of an IT infrastructure partnership that will deliver a range of digital services to the bank's 80,000 employees globally.

The handover of the Rise premises, which provides workspaces and training to up to 34 fintech companies in Lithuania, to Swedbank is in line with the Swedish bank's commitment to maintain its investment in digital technologies.

At the bank's Q1 earnings presentation in April, Swedbank's acting president and CEO Anders Karlsson reported: "We have been reprioritising some projects relating to the digital transformation of the bank and doing more to maintain the speed and scope of the development plan. This has cost more than anticipated. As we believe these initiatives will create value and improve customer satisfaction, we will continue to invest in and execute on these activities."

Swedbank is currently embroiled in an ongoing investigation into a money laundering scandal in the Baltics, which has led to the departure of the chairman and chief executive.

The bank says it intends to set up a new unit called Anti-Financial Crime, which will also take a broader role in enforcing IT security

"The unit will focus on anti-money laundering, counterterrorism financing and financial crime that affects our customers in everyday life such as identity thefts and card frauds," says Karlsson. "The unit will also focus on cybersecurity, information security and physical security. The unit will coordinate the broader internal investigation but also manage the cooperation with the authorities within the AML area."
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