Saturday, May 20, 2017

Nordea Has Decided To Move Its HQ From Sweden, Sources Say

Via Business Insider:

The Nordics’ largest financial group, Nordea, has reportedly taken the decision to move its headquarters from Stockholm. This according to Svenska Dagbladet, which cites high-level sources.

The decision will be formally taken on Nordea’s board meeting on May 30th, headed by chairman of the board Björn Wahlroos.

The news of a move are not unexpected as Nordea has been in an open dispute with the Swedish government regarding its proposals for higher bank fees into the so called resolution reserves.

Nordea faces up to SEK 5 billion (∽$570m) higher annual fees, if the Swedish government — which has a tougher stance on finance than most of the EU — gets its way.

Earlier this year, CEO Casper von Koskull said a HQ move would be “highly, highly likely” in case the new fees would come into effect.

The most likely candidates for a new HQ are Helsinki and Copenhagen.

According to Svenska Dagbladet, Copenhagen has the upper hand within Nordea, in part because employees would prefer living there, and in part because the Danish government has made assurances that no new fees will be introduced in the country.

Although the decision is dramatic, and will have direct consequences for thousands of employees, the bank's corporate and investor clients may not notice the move as much, says Erik Ekman, Nordea's head of Commercial & Business Banking and Swedish country manager.

“These customers don’t see that big of a difference on Nordea regarding where the headquarters are located”, he said during a capital markets meeting in London recently.

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