Nordic bank’s Swedish mort­gage book shrinks

The Pak Banker - - FRONT PAGE - -AFP

GOTHENBURG: For the first time in at least 15 years, the big­gest Nordic bank has seen its Swedish mort­gage book shrink. The lat­est fig­ures show Nordea Bank AB is los­ing clients in the big­gest Scan­di­na­vian econ­omy less than three months after say­ing it plans to move its head­quar­ters to Helsinki from Stock­holm for reg­u­la­tory rea­sons.

Nordea's Swedish mort­gage book shrank to 444.7 bil­lion kro­nor ($53 bil­lion) in Oc­to­ber, from 445.6 bil­lion kro­nor in Septem­ber, the first monthly de­cline in Statis­tics Swe­den data stretch­ing back to early 2002, ac­cord­ing to Bloomberg cal­cu­la­tions. Oc­to­ber's net out­flows erased all the gains Nordea had seen in July, Au­gust and Septem­ber. Its over­all mar­ket share fell to 14.4 per­cent in Oc­to­ber, from 14.6 per­cent in Septem­ber and 15.0 per­cent in Jan­uary.

"It is cor­rect that the Oc­to­ber in­flow was in the neg­a­tive, month-on-month," Nordea spokes­woman Jan­ina Pfalzer said in an emailed re­sponse to ques­tions. "How­ever, we still have a pos­i­tive in­flow year-on-year." Nordea has "cho­sen to be some­what more cau­tious in the mort­gage lend­ing mar­ket dur­ing the year," Pfalzer said. The bank has "not ac­tively tried to gain mar­ket share." The num­bers fol­low ear­lier in­di­ca­tions Nordea was suf­fer­ing client de­fec­tions in Swe­den, with on­line mort­gage bro­kers re­port­ing they'd been con­tacted by an­gry cus­tomers ea­ger to switch banks. At the same time, ri­vals like SBAB and Danske Bank A/S are pro­vid­ing fierce com­pe­ti­tion as Swe­den's hous­ing mar­ket cools down. Nordea had a neg­a­tive mar­ket share in new Swedish mort­gage lend­ing last month, equiv­a­lent to a loss of 5.8 per­cent. In Septem­ber, its share was still pos­i­tive, at 0.8 per­cent. Over the past five years, the bank's av­er­age share of new mort­gage lend­ing was 15 per­cent.

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