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Tuesday's papers: Suburban angst, banking mistakes and electricity costs

Helsinki is keen to build more houses.

Asiakas maksaa pankkikortilla ruokakaupan kassalla.
Some Nordea customers got an unpleasant surprise after using their cards over the weekend. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle
Yle News

Helsingin Sanomat carries a story from the north Helsinki suburb of Pakila, outlining locals' concerns about plans to raise the density of housing there.

The neighbourhood is currently home to mostly detached houses, with the plots owned by individual householders. The City of Helsinki has decided that those plots can now be used for two or three housing units, changing the look of the neighbourhood dramatically.

Householders won't be forced to knock down their homes and build anew, but the financial incentives are clear. Selling one detached house brings in much less than three smaller terraced houses, even if they don't have much of a garden.

The local residents association is concerned about the development.

"Developers are hunting older detached homeowners like hawks," said Raimo Rahkonen of the Pakila association.

Investors have even been known to go door to door in the neighbourhood seeking those who might want to sell up.

Local estate agents tell HS that those who do stand to make some 325,000-500,000 euros from a standard 1,000 square metre plot of land, if they sold it for a rebuild.

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Nordea problems

Taloussanomat is reporting that Nordea has started to fix problems that manifested over the weekend, as some customers were charged twice for the same purchase.

The bank's social media channels were flooded with complaints, with some customers' accounts emptied unexpectedly.

MTV Uutiset carried a harrowing tale from Maiju in Lempäälä, who wrote on Facebook that she was unable to give her daughter mashed potatoes and fish fingers because of the bank's mixup.

She's not alone. MTV reports that customers have seen their accounts go overdrawn, and only realised the problem when they tried to spend money they now — thanks to Nordea's issues — don't have.

The bank's normal communication channels were also jammed, with an estimated wait of up to two days before an adviser is available via the online chat service.

Nordea told MTV that the problem affects Nordea customers who used their bank cards over the weekend, and customers can seek compensation via the company's website.

Electricity price jump

Electricity prices are also on the news agenda. Southeastern daily Loviisan Sanomat and its stablemates run a story on a drop in transfer prices implemented by power firm Caruna.

The company announced on Monday that customers in Espoo, Kauniainen, Kirkkonummi and Joensuu would see prices cut by 2.5 percent from November.

The firm has been heavily criticised for previous price increases, so the reduction will be welcome.

All the more so because the cost of power itself (as opposed to the transfer along cables run by Caruna) is set to increase.

Taloussanomat says wholesale prices in January 2022 are set to be double what they were in January 2021. Taloussanomat says customers on fixed-price deals will weather that price spike best, and luckily enough some 90 percent of Finnish households have such agreements.

Meanwhile Iltalehti chimes in on rising electricity prices, saying in an editorial that rules on fighting climate change are partly to blame for higher costs.

The paper also lauds a consumer watchdog investigation into the market, and says Finland should be slower to give up more polluting forms of energy.

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