New clients push Nordea profits to new heights

The largest Nordic bank, Nordea, posted a 19 percent rise in annual profit on Wednesday after it cut jobs and attracted more customers.

New clients push Nordea profits to new heights

“In 2012, we had more customers, more capital and higher profit than ever before,” chief executive Christian Clausen said in a statement, as the bank announced a €3.12 billion ($4.22 billion) net profit for 2012.

Operating income rose eight percent to 10.2 billion euros in the year.

Fourth quarter net profit was seven percent higher at €840 million, beating an average of 781 million euros predicted by analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires.

Operating income increased three percent to €2.63 billion in the same period.

Nordea, which has been reducing its headcount to lower costs, cautioned that “the weak European growth picture remains a concern and could lead to renewed market tensions.”

The number of employees fell to 31,466 from 33,068 in the year.

“More and more household and corporate customers comfortably use an increasing range of communication technologies. This general trend in customer behaviour naturally also affects customers’ use of Nordea’s distribution channels,” the bank said.

The group’s tier one capital ratio, a measure of how well capitalized a bank is, rose to 13.1 percent in December from 12.2 percent three months earlier.

Nordea’s tier one capital ratio is lower than some of its rivals, and the bank’s financial plan aims to keep it above 13 percent.

After midday, shares in the bank were up by 2.11 percent, in a market that was 0.46 percent higher.

AFP/The Local/og

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Police to investigate Nordea bank over money laundering

Danish police will investigate the Swedish bank Nordea after a year-long probe by regulators into money laundering led to "criticism" of its procedures, the bank said Friday.

Police to investigate Nordea bank over money laundering
Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Detectives will examine how money laundering rules were followed at the bank's Danish subsidiary and could result in “sanctions”, Nordea said in a statement.

“We realize that we initially underestimated the complexity and the time it takes to change our procedures,” said Nordea chief executive Casper von Koskull.

The bank added that 850 Nordea employees are currently involved in the fight against money laundering which the bank plans to increase to 1,150 by the end of the year.

In May 2015 the bank was fined 50 million kronor (€5.4 million euros) – the maximum possible – by Swedish regulators who accused Nordea of “not following money laundering rules for several years” and failing to “evaluate the risks of (doing business with) certain clients”.