Sweden OKs largest Nordic bank to move HQ to inside EU zone

Sweden's financial supervisory authority on Thursday granted permission to the Nordic region's largest bank to move its administrative headquarters from the Swedish capital to Helsinki in Finland, which is part of the European banking union.

Finansinspektionen said its assessment of moving Nordea "focused primarily on whether creditors, including depositors, or the public interest would be negatively impacted," and concluded "these risks will not increase."

The authority said "that the insight into and possibility for influence even in the future will be sufficient to maintain Swedish financial stability."

Nordea welcomed the authority's permission and called it "a significant step for Nordea's move," adding the move is planned to take effect on Oct. 1, "provided that necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained."

The bank with about 11 million customers in the Nordic countries has said that it "is in the best interest" of customers, shareholders and employees" to be inside the banking union, and "only a limited number" of Nordea's roughly 30,000 employees will be affected.

"Domiciling in a country that is participating in the banking union is the best way to secure a fair, stable and predictable regulatory environment for Nordea on a par with its peers," Nordea said in a statement.