Nordea’s interim results exceed expectations

Bank has blocked half of suspicious Panama accounts

Nordea Bank’s financial results for the second quarter of 2016 have surpassed the bank’s own expectations.

Despite scandals and plummeting financial markets due to the outcome of the British EU referendum, Nordea made 36.5 billion kroner in revenue, a decrease of only 7 percent compared to the same period last year.

The bank had to write off 944.7 million kroner on loans and ended the first half of 2016 with a net profit of 7.4 billion kroner.

“Despite low growth and turbulent financial markets, revenues are holding up well. Ancillary income is unchanged compared to a year ago,” stated Nordea’s chief executive officer, Casper von Koskull.

“Margin pressure in net interest income is levelling off and we now believe in an inflection point with an improving trend from the second half of 2016. Costs are in line with the plans and credit quality remains solid.”

READ MORE: Nordea may be short over 60 billion kroner in capital

Blocking offshore accounts
Since April, the bank has been investigating dubious offshore accounts that were associated with the Panama Papers scandal.

Of the 137 offshore accounts held by Nordea Luxembourg, some 68 have already been blocked.

The investigation has revealed that eight of the tax haven companies were sold before April 15, while the total capital of the remaining 129 company structures amounts to about 1.6 billion kroner.

READ MORE: SKAT gunning for Danes named in Panama Papers

Not initiated by Nordea employees
According to Nordea, there is no evidence suggesting that employees of Nordea Luxembourg initiated the establishment of the offshore structures or that they pro-actively helped customers with tax evasion.

The offshore accounts were set up by Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca for wealthy individuals and public officials.

Some of the accounts were used for illegal purposes, including fraud and tax evasion.

A total of 11.5 million financial documents were leaked in the scandal and Nordea Bank was mentioned 11.000 times in the papers.