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It's official: Nordea Bank moves HQ to Helsinki

A general meeting of the largest pan-Nordic bank has green-lighted the plan to shift the HQ to Finland, which unlike the Scandinavian countries is a member of the European banking union and the eurozone.

Björn Wahlroos ja Casper von Koskull
Nordea chair Björn Wahlroos and CEO Casper von Koskull at Thursday's AGM at Stockholm's Grand Hôtel. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

Shareholders in the Nordic region’s biggest bank, Nordea, have approved the transfer of the company’s headquarters from Stockholm to Helsinki. At the annual general meeting in the Swedish capital on Thursday, the proposed move garnered 96.9 percent of votes. It would have only needed two thirds of votes to go through.

Nordea’s board presented the plan last September. The main reason is that Finland is a member of the European banking union and the eurozone. Sweden and Nordea’s other main countries of operation, Denmark and Norway, are not.

Nordea said last autumn that the move should be completed by October 2018.

The headquarters staff is expected to move to the Nordea Campus in Helsinki’s Vallila district.

Banking fees spurred exodus

Nordea began to plan a move in February 2017 after the Swedish government said it would raise so-called resolution fees on banks in an effort to protect taxpayers from the costs of financial crises. Concerned that this could cost the bank as much as a billion euros, Nordea management began looking into moving the HQ to either Denmark or Finland – with Helsinki eventually getting the nod over Copenhagen.

As a large bank in Finland, Nordea will be directly overseen by the European Central Bank, as are OP and Danske Bank Finland. Smaller banks are supervised by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority.

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