Another strong year for Nordea

Frank Vang-Jensen

05-02-2024 06:30

2023 was another strong year for Nordea. Despite the weakening economic climate, we maintained good business momentum as we actively supported our customers across the Nordic countries.

Our priority is always to serve our customers to the best of our ability, and this is all the more important in the current climate. Many households and businesses understandably feel more uncertain about the future. Rising prices and higher interest rates have dampened economic activity. However, in general, our customers have adjusted well to the new environment and the Nordic economies have shown considerable resilience.

In 2023 we made continued progress in line with our business plan. This led to solid financial results, with a return on equity of 16.9% for the full year, up from 13.8% in 2022.

The trend has clearly been positive: Nordea’s earnings and return on equity have consistently improved since our repositioning in 2019, making us one of the strongest and most profitable banks in Europe. Our strong profitability and capital generation has, above all else, given us a great capacity to support our customers. 

In 2023 a key focus of everyone at Nordea was on developing our omnichannel experience, where we combine excellent digital solutions and high-quality advice. These efforts continued to be effective and appreciated by our customers, as was evident in our improved customer satisfaction scores. The use of our digital services again rose significantly – 13% year on year – reaching a record high of 1.4 billion logins. We also held more than one million advisory meetings with our customers, up 9% on 2022.

Sustainability naturally remained high on the agenda in 2023. One of our goals is to reduce the overall carbon emissions associated with our EUR 324bn lending and EUR 378bn investment portfolios. Since our baseline year 2019 we have lowered our financed emissions by approximately 25%, clearly demonstrating our commitment to reach our 40–50% reduction target by 2030.

In the fourth quarter we continued our proactive approach to supporting our customers and maintained solid underlying profitability. This was supported by a 19% year-on-year increase in net interest income and continued robust levels of lending. Our credit quality and capital generation also remained strong.

Given our financial position and full-year results, our Board has proposed a dividend of EUR 0.92 per share for 2023. Dividends are important for our shareholders, among which are more than 570,000 private individuals across the Nordics. Alongside our lending and role as one of the largest taxpayers in the region, our shareholder distributions help support economic activity and drive growth, innovation and development in the Nordic societies.

Today, we also announced an upgraded financial target for 2025. We are now targeting a return on equity of above 15%, against our previous target of above 13%. Our upgraded target reflects the significant structural improvements made across the Group over the past four years, which support the delivery of high-quality earnings, with high profitability and low volatility. 

Every day, we work to earn the trust and loyalty of our customers and shareholders. I would like to thank them for their feedback and cooperation, and also all our employees for their great efforts and relentless drive forward during 2023. 

The role we play in society drives us to continually improve and do well for all of our stakeholders.

Our focus is unchanged – to be the preferred partner for customers in need of a broad range of financial services.

Interim result
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