Nordea, the largest financial services group in the Nordic region and one of the largest banks in Europe, has resolved to move its headquarters from Sweden to Finland. A large majority of 96.6 % of the shareholders at Nordea Bank AB’s annual meeting on 15 March 2018 voted in favor of relocating the headquarters to Helsinki, readily surpassing the required two-thirds majority vote. The target date for the relocation is 1 October 2018.
Of the four domestic markets of Nordea, Finland’s membership in the European Banking Union was the decisive factor for the relocation. Following the relocation Nordea will be supervised by the European Central Bank together with the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority. Nordea will also be subject to the same banking supervision and single resolution mechanisms as the great majority of other European banks. The move contributes considerably to the stability in the Eurozone and helps to create a levelled playing field when major actors within the banking sector are covered by common supervision and the jurisdiction of the Single Resolution Board. As a result of the relocation the size of the Finnish banking sector will be triple the size of Finland’s GDP. As a response to the relocation, the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority will adjust its organizational structure with respect to banking supervision and make preparations for the use of macroprudential tools and supervisory cooperation with the European Central Bank and the Swedish regulator Finansinspektionen.
Nordea’s decision to relocate follows the Swedish Government’s intention to increase the amount of the so called resolution fee, a banking tax collected from Swedish financial institutions. Also, the stricter Swedish bank legislation and tighter capital requirements compared with the EU were of relevance when the decision to relocate was made.
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