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BANKING

Nordea to cut 6,000 jobs

Banking giant Nordea, which recently stirred debate with its controversial HQ move from Sweden to Finland, has announced plans to cut around 13 percent of its total workforce.

Nordea to cut 6,000 jobs
Nordea's offices in Stockholm. Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Nordea said it would reduce its workforce by 4,000 employees and 2,000 consultants across its Nordic markets. It currently employs around 31,900 people.

“We are almost two years into the transformation of Nordea. Since investments are starting to deliver, it is time to enter the next phase, in which we see that we can structurally bring down costs and increase efficiency. This transformation would not have been possible without our strong balance sheet and robust business model,” said CEO Casper von Koskull as he presented its third-quarter report on Thursday.

“In the coming years we will achieve economies of scale by taking our centres of excellence to the next level and create efficient and automated operations. To achieve this we also need to continue a cultural transformation into a purpose-led and values-guided organization,” added von Koskull, but he warned of potential geopolitical risks and imbalances in the property market.

Nordea reported operating profits of 1,090 million euros on Thursday, down five percent on the same period last year, and a total operating income of 2,373 million euros, compared to expenses of 1,204 million euros. The results were mostly in line with expectations.

The bank announced last month that it would move its headquarters from Sweden to Finland in order to be part of the eurozone’s banking union, and following a conflict with the Swedish government over proposed tax increases and regulations for resolution and deposit guarantees.

READ ALSO: Why Nordea is no Agent Smith but Commander Data

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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