"To reach the anticipated cost efficiency and profitability, the required reduction of employees in 2011 and 2012 is about 2,000, of which between 500 and 650 [will be] in Denmark, Finland and Sweden, respectively, and between 200 and 300 in Norway," the bank said in a statement.
Due to "increased costs imposed by new global regulation," all banks face increased challenges, the bank explained, adding that it aimed to "maintain its place among the top-league banks in Europe" and had "decided to take early action to safeguard its strong position on funding and customer relations."
"As a step in those plans, negotiations with trade unions in the four Nordic countries have been initiated on reducing the total number of employees," it said, adding that it aimed to cut most of the jobs "through natural turnover and voluntary agreements."
Nordea said that while negotiation times differed from country to country, it expected all the procedures to be finished by November this year.
Following the announcement, the bank saw its share price jump 1.35 percent in midday trading on a Stockholm stock exchange up 1.20 percent.
The bank last month posted a six-percent drop in its second quarter net profit, to 700 million euros ($987 million), amid falling investments.
"To increase efficiency is never easy," acknowledged Nordea president and chief executive Christian Clausen in the statement, insisting though that six-percent staff reduction was necessary to boost productivity and thus "safeguard our good rating, competitive funding and thus our ability to offer products and services at the right price to our customers."
"The alternative -- to wait and see -- is not an option," he added.