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Nordea Bank ABP, Europe’s top universal bank

Headquartered in Helsinki, Finland, Nordea Bank Abp is one of the Top banking groups of Europe. It offers products and services like personal banking, commercial and business banking, wholesale banking and asset and wealth management. The merge or the product of successful banks Nordic banks Unibank, Merita Bank, Nordbanken and Christiania Bank during the late 1990s, is the Nordea Group of banks tracing its origins back to 200 years. The group serves more than 9 million private, corporate and etail customers with its home markets being Finland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden as well as operations in 16 countries outside of the Nordic region. Presenting an income of EUR 8.5 billion and total assets of EUR 554.8 billion in 2019, the bank became one of the Europe’s top 10 financial institutions. Based on market capitalization, Nordea has been granted a coveted AA rating for its stability which a feather in their cap. The banking group has won multiple awards in recognition of its achievements in areas such as innovation, digital offerings to retail customers, private banking and investment banking as well as a strong position in the small- and mid-size corporate segment. Its shares are traded on Helsinki, Stockholm and Copenhagen stock exchanges. A leader in sustainability, Nordea is committed to doing its part to conserve the resources for the future generations.

Nordea’s president and chief executive officer, Mr. Frank Vang-Jensen shared some insights on how the bank was tackling the current circumstances. He said that this crisis gave the bank a purpose of enabling dreams and everyday aspirations for a greater good. The bank went from the idea of decision to action and solved the challenges thrown at them. The focus was set on supporting the customers from the beginning of the pandemic which helped them maintain the relationship with their customers on the strong basis of trust. Finding new ways of leading, being flexible and staying attentive was another way of tackling. The target was and is to help our customers in their work with sustainability. Green corporate loans and mortgage loans are good examples of Nordea’s initiatives to enable our customers to contribute to a more sustainable future. The main difference from conventional corporate loans is that the entire chain is green. The bank believes that sustainability is not just products and services they offer but It is the way of they work , it is all about our actions, from environmentally friendly ways of using resources to improving diversity and inclusion throughout the bank.

Nordea’s funds, was recently awarded excellent scores by the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) for its overall sustainability strategy and governance. On asked about the secret behind this , Mr. Jensen shared that having a good fund ,sustainable or not does matter if it does not have a valuable asset manager who has the clear investment objective and a solid investment process. He said, “Customers have entrusted us with more than 69 billion euro in our products with elevated ESG, and in our flagship STARS products, we have seen a growth of 25 percent since the start of the year (2020). These numbers bring us into the world’s top 10 when we measure flow to sustainable products.” It is always important to have a customer perspective, while they express a desire to become more sustainable throughout their savings while still expecting us to give them excellent risk-adjusted returns and that has been the bank’s mission lately.

Having the main objective of delivering the priorities and promises, requires passion to serve the customers and to relentlessly drive forward has made the banking group not lose its place at the top!

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Banking

Goldman banker hired by the Citi bank

Citigroup has hired Luisa Leyenaar-Huntingford from Goldman Sachs. This new hire is to co-head its global infrastructure franchise. Because, it seeks to win more business from cash-rich investment firms focusing on infrastructure deals. Leyenaar-Huntingford will be based in London. Responsibility will be shared with Todd Guenther in New York.

The pair will work closely with industry teams covering healthcare, industrials, natural resources and clean energy transition (NRCET), technology and communications. Leyenaar-Huntingford helped in the establishment of the Goldman’s infrastructure franchise in her time at the Wall Street bank. They will team up with Citi’s Iberia co-head of banking, capital markets and advisory (BCMA) Jorge Ramos will continue to be a senior member of the global infrastructure franchise.

The infrastructure sector is poised for further growth, according to the memo. The memo was released by Citi’s global co-heads of the alternative assets group Anthony Diamandakis and John Eydenberg, and its EMEA head of BCMA Nacho Gutierrez-Orrantia. There was significant private investment demand across the globe to deal with environmental, energy, transportation, waste, communication, digital and other social needs.

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Banking

Banks make slow progress on UK gender pay

Major banks in Britain made a slight dent in their gender pay gaps. Several insurers went backwards. Companies in Britain with more than 250 employees have been required to publish the difference between the pay and bonuses of their male and female employees. They got a reprieve due to the pandemic, last year. The financial services sector has shown one of the largest genders pay gaps in Britain. The lack of women in senior jobs is the main reason.

Pay gap data from 21 major financial institutions showed a narrowing in their average mean gender pay gap. This is just 0.4 percentage points. Banks alone had a pay gap which narrowed by one percentage point. Ann Francke, chief executive of the Chartered Management Institute said that the UK’s financial services industry has often been singled out. It really does have to get its house in order. Goldman Sachs had the widest gender pay gap in the year to April 2020. Goldman posted a gender pay gap of 51.8%. The bank told the staffs that narrowing the gap further was a critical priority. A spokesperson for banking lobby group UK Finance said, that there is clearly more still to be done.

FTSE 100 insurers Prudential, Legal & General and M&G reported a widening in their pay gaps. Prudential’s UK gender pay gap widened to 45.2%. M&G also reported a widening in its pay gap in the most recent year to 30.5%. The M&G spokesperson said that they are determined to narrow their gender pay gap and will do this by achieving better representation of women in all roles at all levels of our organization. Legal & General’s mean gender pay gap widened to 30.8%.

The insurer said that the legal & general is tackling the underlying causes of its pay gap. This is by creating a more diverse workforce and a more inclusive culture through sustained, long-term action. Admiral had a gender pay gap last year of 12.8%. The 21 firms surveyed were Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, NatWest, Standard Chartered, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs International, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, PGMS (a Phoenix unit), abrdn, Schroder Investment Management, St James’s Place, Legal & General, Prudential, Admiral Group, Aviva and M&G.

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BOJ to lower inflation target-Japan’s finance minister

Japan’s outgoing finance minister, Taro Aso, said that he had proposed lowering the central bank’s 2% inflation target. This is when the prices took a hit from plunging oil prices. He was the finance minister for nearly nine years. The slump in oil price was among the main reasons the government could not officially declare an end to deflation. In his final news conference as finance minister, Aso said that he proposed to Governor Kuroda that, with oil prices falling this much, it would be hard to achieve 2% inflation. Hence, the target must be lowered at some point. He stated this by referring to Bank of Japan (BOJ) chief Haruhiko Kuroda.

Aso also said that the governor said he would do his best to achieve the target. This is stated by adding that policymakers must scrutinise at some point, why the BOJ’s inflation target of 2% has not been met. The remarks highlight how the government and lawmakers distanced themselves from the BOJ’s target years ago, despite central bank reassurances that achieving the target was possible by maintaining or increasing stimulus.

Aso was deeply involved in negotiations with the BOJ. After Kuroda took over as governor, he deployed a massive asset-buying program. This is for pulling Japan out of deflation. Aso supported the BOJ’s stimulus efforts. He is a member of the cabinet. And also, had raised many doubts that monetary policy alone can reflate the economy out of the doldrums. New Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to form a cabinet.

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