No need for Sweden to hurry into EU bank union: Nordea chief

Reuters

Sweden should try to achieve a compromise over how a new European bank union would function before it decides on joining as staying outside in the long term could be dangerous, the head of biggest Nordic bank Nordea said on Thursday.

Sweden has raised various objections over the proposed bank union, saying it does not want its tax payers money to be used to bail out other countries' banks.

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European Union members, including Sweden, are to discuss the issue at a summit in Brussels starting on Thursday.

"It is not important that we join now, we must see if we can get acceptance for the demands that we have," Nordea chief executive Christian Clausen, who is also chairman of industry group the European Banking Federation, told reporters.

"I support the Swedish government's effort to seek a compromise. One cannot only have obligations, one should also have rights if you join," he added.

Swedish banks are among the best capitalized in Europe and came out of the 2008 financial crisis in good shape.

But some of them, Nordea included, have operations in euro zone states which would fall under the supervision of the European Central Bank under the new bank union. Clausen said Sweden should consider entering the union in the long run.

"Sweden is now very strong, the banks are strong, the economy is strong, everything is great. But in 20 years, then there is a question of whether you want to be alone with your problems or together with strong countries. It's a political question," he added. (Reporting by Patrick Lannin. Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.)