Nordea Profits Decline ‘Not A Surprise’

Profits slump, but CEO expects a turnaround this year as banking group moves ahead with planned headquarters move to Helsinki.

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File photo / Credit: Nordea

The CEO of Nordea Group Casper Von Koskull says he’s not surprised the bank had a weak fourth quarter in 2017.

Today, the company reported operating profits declined by nearly a third, compared with the previous year.

Operating profits were €796 million, compared with €1.14 billion the year before.

“When combined with the fact that we invested last year, the cost growth was high, and according to plan. So of course the combination ends up with such a result” says Von Koskull.

For the coming year, the Nordea CEO believes the results will be better.

On the Helsinki Stock Exchange, Nordea stock slipped after the announcement of the results, down 3.7% from its opening price.

Sampo Bank’s financial group, which owns just over 20% of Nordea’s shares, was also down.

Nordea’s General Meeting

Nordea’s Annual General Meeting will take place in mid-March. At that time, shareholders will discuss the company’s plans to move headquarters to Helsinki. The decision requires a two-thirds majority vote.

Von Koskull doesn’t want to speculate on the result of the vote, and says he respects the shareholder’s decision-making powers. However, he is convinced that a carefully planned move to Finland would be the right step for the bank.

“The bank is a European bank, belonging to the European Banking Union and the route to the Banking Union is through Finland” says Von Koskull.

Nordea’s Board of Directors already decided in September to initiate the move of the bank’s headquarters to Finland.