Sweden's Ethical Committee for Fund Marketing (ENF) has ruled that use of expressions such as "Absolute Return", "ECO", "Superfonden" and "Kapitaltrygg" are misleading in regards to three funds marketed locally, and has ordered that their names be changed.
The ruling comes after a complaint was lodged by the Swedish Consumer Agency (Konsumentverket) to ENF, in regards to DNB ECO Absolute Return (marketed by DNB Bank ASA's Swedish affiliate), Nordnet Superfonden Sverige (marketed by E. Öhman J:or Fonder AB) and Swedbank Robur Kapitaltrygg (marketed by Swedbank Robur Fonder AB).
In its decision, ENF said it had found that the three had failed to implement best practice as defined by the Swedish Investment Fund Association's guidelines for marketing and information. For example, it said that use of the expression 'absolute return' may be difficult to understand for those not working in the industry (https://www.fondbolagen.se/globalassets/aktuellt/nyheter/190429-uttalande-om-dnb-bank-asas-marknadsforing-av-fond.pdf), that 'kapitaltrygg' implied capital protection that the fund does not provide (https://www.fondbolagen.se/globalassets/aktuellt/nyheter/190429-uttalande-om-swedbank-robur-fonder-abs-marknadsforing-av-fond.pdf) and that including the word 'super' in a name could be interpreted as an adjective implying performance characteristics (https://www.fondbolagen.se/globalassets/aktuellt/nyheter/190429-uttalande-om-e.-ohman-jor-fonder-abs-marknadforing-av-fond.pdf)
ENF is an independent committee whose task is to monitor and ensure that fund providers follow marketing rules in their information and marketing practices. Featuring its own board, the committee includes:
- Chairman: Kenneth Nordlander (judge in Sweden's Court of Appeal - Svea hovrätt)
- Deputy chairman: Torsten Brink, Brilex AB
- Representatives from the fund industry: Pia Sodemann, Swedbank Robur, Helena Hillström, Didner & Gerge Fonder, Hans Ek, SEB Fonder, and Eva Gottfridsdotter-Nilsson, Länsförsäkringar Fondförvaltning
- General public interest represented by: Siv Öhlund, consumer adviser in Piteå, and Carina Brehmer, consumer adviser in Linköpings municipality
- Secretary: Anna Larris, Swedish Investment Fund Association