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EARNINGS

Nordea tops estimates with soaring profit

Nordic bank Nordea recorded a 15-percent hike in net profit for 2010 and a 72-percent jump in the fourth quarter, boosted by Sweden's strong economic recovery.

Nordea tops estimates with soaring profit

For 2010, Nordic posted a net profit of €2.66 billion ($3.68 billion), up from €2.31 billion a year earlier, despite a 2 percent drop in its net banking income to €5.16 billion.

From October to December, the bank posted a net profit of €769 million, up from €448 million a year earlier, on a net banking income increase of 5 percent to €1.37 billion.

The fourth quarter results were above the expectations of analysts polled by the Dow Jones Newswires, who had predicted a 58 percent net profit jump to €705.3 billion, while the net banking income for the three-month period was in line with expectations.

Nordea said it planned to raise its dividend to €0.29 per share from €0.25 a year earlier.

The good results were largely expected amid rising interest rates in Sweden and the Scandinavian country’s strong economic recovery, with its gross domestic product expected to swell more than six percent this year.

Nordea, which counts some 11 million clients, is the largest bank in Sweden and in the entire Nordic region.

Following Wednesday’s news, Nordea say its stock price increase 0.44 percent to 79.85 kronor ($12.52) a share in morning trading on a Stockholm stock exchange down 0.34 percent.

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BREXIT

Brits in EU risk losing UK bank accounts ‘within weeks’

Some of Britain's biggest banks have begun contacting customers in European Union countries, warning them that their accounts will be closed down within weeks because the cost and complexity of operating without a continuation of pan-European banking rules is too much.

Brits in EU risk losing UK bank accounts 'within weeks'
Lloyds Bank expects to close at least 13,000 accounts. Photo: Lloyds Bank
According to a report in The Times, thousands of Britons who live in Europe face being stripped of their UK bank accounts and credit cards, because of the UK government's failure to agree rules for operating after Brexit. 
 
Each of the EU's 27 member states has different rules for cross-border bank accounts which will start to apply immediately the UK's transition period ends on 31st December 2020. 
 
“In some cases, continuing to serve customers would be incredibly complex, extremely expensive and very time-consuming, and simply would not make economic sense,” a source at one British bank told the newspaper. “This is passporting — this is the reality of Brexit.”
 
 
If a way is not found to continue pan-European banking rules, or passporting, UK banks will br breaking the law if they don't apply for new banking licenses in each European Union Country. 
 
 
Lloyds, Britain’s biggest banking group, began writing to customers in August, warning them that their bank accounts would  close down on December 31.
 
The bank estimates that 13,000 customers, including those based in Holland, Slovakia, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Portugal, would lose their accounts. 
 
“If customers have regular deposits into, or payments out of, their account, they will need to make other arrangements before their account is closed,” the bank said. 
 
Barclays and Coutts have also started contacting customers. 
 
“In light of the UK leaving the EU at the end of 2020, we continue to review the services we offer to customers within the European Economic Area (EEA), and any impacted customers will be contacted directly,” Barclays said in a statement. “The timings for account closure will depend on the type of product that a customer holds, but we will always give notice to customers.”
 
“In the event that no alternative to the European Economic Area passporting regime for financial services is agreed between the UK and EU, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from offering our services to clients who reside in the EEA,” Coutts said. 
 
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