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Bucking Trends, Finnish Banks Post Record Profits

While banks in many parts of the world recorded massive losses last year, Finnish banks have bucked the trend, posting record profits.

According to Statistics Finland, domestic banks made profits of 3.5 billion euros last year -- an increase of 29 percent over the previous year.

Financial institutions did report credit losses, but these amounted to a mere 51 million euros. The figures include Finnish operations of the multi-national Nordea Bank.

The banking sector's profits were boosted by half a billion euros in earnings from a single corporate deal. The central statistics bureau did not specify which bank or company was involved. However, domestic banking profits would have set a record last year even without this one-off deal.

The figures do indicate a decline in profits towards the end of 2007.

The improved profits came despite an increase in administrative costs -- their largest category of expenditures. Last year they rose by more than 10 percent to 2.1 billion euros.

YLE

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