An overwhelming majority (96.9%) of shareholders voted to approve Nordea’s plans to transfer its headquarters from Sweden to Finland on Thursday. The bank is moving to cut the cost of Swedish regulation and to join the European Banking Union.
After the AGM, Nordea Chairman Björn Wahlroos took a swipe at the Swedish government, saying that “the business climate in Sweden could be managed a little better,” while giving assurances that the move would not affect Nordea’s business in Sweden. He also said Nordea could not wait for Sweden to decide whether it would join the Union, or not.
Financial Markets Minister Per Bolund has told business daily Dagens Industri he does not believe the Swedish government’s threat of a bank tax, or its plan to raise resolution fees, has influenced Nordea in its decision to move.
However, Exane BNP Paribas’ Andreas Håkansson is merciless in his criticism of the government, saying its actions had forced “one of Sweden’s largest companies out of the country”.
Moderate spokeswoman Elisabeth Svantesson holds a similar view to Håkansson, saying: “This has been clumsily managed by the government”.
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