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Nordea share prices fall day after Panama Papers revelations

A day after revelations that the firm was involved in facilitating hundreds of offshore banking arrangements, share prices in the Nordic financial services company Nordea Bank dropped on Tuesday.

Kolikoita Nordean logolla varustetussa säästöpossussa.
Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Shares in Nordea Bank were down by nearly three percentage points in the middle of the afternoon on Tuesday, just part of the ongoing reaction to revelations the company was involved in facilitating hundreds of offshore tax shelters.

The leak, known as the Panama Papers, involve millions of confidential documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca - some of which were partially made public on Monday - which revealed widespread tax avoidance by people who want to hide their wealth.

According to data uncovered by Yle, between 2004 and 2014, Nordea Bank's Luxembourg unit set up nearly 400 offshore companies for its customers in Panama and the British Virgin Islands.

On Monday the bank issued a press release denouncing the practice of tax evasion and a bank representative said it had changed its practices in 2009.

Also late on Monday, a bank representative announced that Nordea would no longer be doing business with Mossack Fonseca.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Nordea board chairman Björn Wahlroos has not yet commented about the matter.

Share price drop just part of backlash

The revelations about the bank's involvement with tax havens have already caused many to speak out, including leading members of government.

In his personal blog, Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini denounced Nordea's practices, saying the bank had lost all credibility.

On Twitter, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä wrote that paying taxes was "a question of honor," and said there should be European-wide measures to root out the practice of using tax havens.

In an email to Yle, Finance Minister Alexander Stubb also condemned tax evaders and said he was surprised that a Finnish bank was linked to the scandal.

Also many people took to social media and said they are considering taking their banking business elsewhere.

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