Our aim has since the 1820s always been to help our customers achieve what they aspire to.
Interested in our history? See below for some of our early customer stories.
One of Nordea’s first customers
Hans Christian Andersen (1805–1875), the famous Danish poet and fairy tale writer, was one of our first customers. He did not of course know this himself, since the name of the bank at that time was Sparekassen for Kjøbenhavn og Omegn.
It opened in 1820 and at that time saving money in a bank was quite a new phenomenon. The few banks that existed earlier in the Nordic countries were not intended for ordinary people. However, savings campaigns were in progress all over Europe, inspired by ideas concerning combating poverty through diligence and thrift following the Age of Enlightenment.
Hans Christian Andersen indeed responded to the savings requirements of the day. He was born poor, but when he died in 1875 he had, counted in today’s money, several million kroner in the bank.
Emigrant service in the new country
Emigration to North America was widespread in Finland in the early 1900s.
Emigrants had frequent contact with the old country, including bank affairs. In 1910 Suomen Yhdys-Pankki founded a special Emigrant Affairs Department, which employed up to eight persons. The assignments from the emigrated customers were of varied nature.
One time a customer asked the bank to collect an engagement ring from his unfaithful fiancée, sell the ring and deposit the money into his account.
Vodka as security
Christiania Kreditkasse’s first customer, Mr Evensen, was granted a loan secured by 4,000 pots of vodka, corresponding to 3,862 litres. The liquor was driven away to the bank’s warehouse and was later returned, in line with Mr Evensen’s amortisations.
In 1964 Norwegian Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse started an umbrella service at its head office. A sign said Borrow when rainy, bring back in sun. This service became so popular that other branches of the bank soon started a similar service.