* Probe follows media storm over SCA corporate spending
* Nordea denies any wrongdoing by CEO (Adds further details, background)
STOCKHOLM, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Sweden’s financial services watchdog said on Monday it has launched an investigation following media reports that the chief executive of Nordea , the region’s biggest bank, went on hunting trips organised by paper products group SCA.
SCA has been in the spotlight over the media allegations of extravagant spending by management on foreign travel and on hunting trips in northern Sweden, with one newspaper saying hunting dogs were flown in by helicopter and an empty jet was sent back to Stockholm to collect a forgotten wallet.
The chairman of investment group Industrivarden, one of the biggest shareholders in SCA, subsequently said last week that he would step down after his position had become untenable.
SCA has also been placed under a preliminary investigation concerning the allegations by a public prosecutor, officials said on Friday.
Now Sweden’s Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA) has said it is investigating the same allegations with regard to whether Nordea’s chief executive Christian Clausen acted improperly.
“It’s very important that banks have ethical guidelines and that they are being followed,” FSA spokesman Jonatan Holst said.
Holst said the FSA was in communication with Nordea over the matter but declined to comment on the possible outcomes of the probe.
Nordea confirmed in a written response to Reuters it was talking to the FSA but denied any wrongdoing by Clausen.
“The FSA has asked some questions about our policies and procedures that we obviously will answer,” the bank’s spokesman said.
“We understand the debate and have taken in the criticism, but our view is that the CEO has followed the applicable regulations when he represented Nordea at SCA’s events along with several other business leaders.” (Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Greg Mahlich)