The Allmänna Sparbankerna crash of 1929 and the financial crimes behind it

In the spring of 1929, an investigative report reached the Swedish government on an elaborate scheme of defrauded depositors, falsified financial statements, bribed government officials and many other financial crimes, all committed by the founding men behind the Allmänna Sparbankerna - group of small banks that fronted as ”savings banks” to shirk supervision and benefit from the still strong goodwill of the savings bank movement. In this article this little known bank crash in Swedish financial history is accounted for with particular focus on how they where used for the owners criminal gains. Based on archive material from the many court cases that followed the crash, the article offers a uniquely detailed empirical case of white-collar crime in the financial sector. Except for being one of the largest financial crimes in Swedish history, it is also the largest bank crash in terms of deposit losses. Despite that most the victims where small, unsophisticated depositors - including orphanages, widow pension organisations and labour unions - the parliament rejected full deposit loss compensation.