CEO blog: Happy anniversary, Nordea

20-05-04 13:12 | About Nordea | Frank Vang-Jensen

This year marks Nordea’s 200th anniversary. As a strong and personal financial partner, we have helped our customers realise their dreams and fulfil their aspirations for 200 years.

An anniversary is an important milestone, which we would normally see as an opportunity to celebrate. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we do so under exceptional circumstances. Even though we are not able to come together this time, I want to give my warmest congratulations and wish a happy anniversary to everyone at Nordea and all our customers and stakeholders.

Nordea has lived through many historical turning points and crises in the past and they are now part of what and who we are today. We can learn a lot by looking at the past, and that’s also why I would like to share our story with you today.

It all began on 1 May 1820 when our oldest predecessor bank Sparekassen for Kjøbenhavn og Omegn opened its doors in Denmark, making it possible for people with low income to save money and get access to banking services.

A decade later the first Nordic commercial banks were established. Nordea’s Swedish predecessor bank Wermlands Enskilda bank (originally Wermlands Provincial-Bank) was founded in 1832, followed by Norway’s Christiania Kreditkasse in 1848, Denmark’s Privatbanken in 1857 and Union Bank of Finland in 1862. These banks were pioneers in business banking. By offering financing for Nordic businesses and entrepreneurs, they helped drive economic development, wellbeing and prosperity throughout the region. Later, Nordea was formed through a string of mergers of around 300 banks.

Nordea has deep roots in the Nordic societies. We have lived through two world wars, recessions and financial crises, but also economic boom times and growth cycles. We have stayed close to our customers in difficult times, and helped them prosper in better times. Along the way, we have adopted new technologies and developed our services to meet our customers’ needs.

Today, Nordea is one of Europe’s strongest banks, well-capitalised and with strong liquidity. We are a universal bank with more than 9.8 million personal and business customers. We want to make a real difference to our customers and the communities we operate in, and we are committed to making the financial sector and our societies more sustainable.

The COVID-19 outbreak is again putting us to the test. But seeing how we’ve done our utmost to help our customers through the crisis – granting instalment-free periods to almost 70,000 customers – and keeping the bank fully operational under very challenging conditions, I’m confident that we will come back stronger from this crisis too. This is what Nordea has been doing for 200 years, and what we will continue to do.

Happy anniversary, stay safe and take care.

/Frank Vang-Jensen, President and Group CEO

Take a journey in time through Nordea’s history

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