CEO Luncheon with Casper von Koskull

Change, spurred by digitalization as well as regulation, is sweeping the banking sector. Nordea’s President and CEO Casper von Koskull gave his perspective on this, and on Nordea’s upcoming move to Finland at SACCNY’s CEO luncheon on October 12.

While the move made headlines that no doubt contributed to the full house and waitlist at the event, von Koskull downplayed its significance. ”It is an administrative move by our holding company to Finland, where we are regulated by the European Central Bank. It will have no impact on our Swedish clients, our Swedish employees, or the way we operate in Swedish society.”

The big news, von Koskull said, is the tremendous change in the industry. He pointed both to new regulations, as well as shifts in customer expectations. ”If any of you were to go online to buy a product or a service and nothing happened for 30 seconds, you would switch to something else.”

Nordea has responded by rebuilding its customer interface, providing both an improved digital experience, as well as the possibility of speaking to a banker on the phone or via video chat any day of the week.

In terms of regulation as impetus for change, as of next year, banks in Europe are required to open their systems to third-party players. Nordea has created a platform where web developers can work with the bank on services for its customers.

When Nordea opened itself up to web developers earlier this year, there were 303 registrations within 24 hours; there are now almost 800. ”Everybody is looking at the financial industry, and everybody wants to play a role. […] In a sense, we are now an IT company.”


Nordea in the News

This past September, Nordea, once owned by the Swedish state, created a stir with the announcement that the bank plans to move its company headquarters to Finland. The move means that Nordea will be supervised by the European Central Bank instead of the Swedish government. It is estimated to save the company about 1 billion euros over time.