UPDATE 2-Finland's Pohjola shedding hundreds of jobs

Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:03pm IST

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(Adds expected job cuts at Pohjola Bank, more comments)

HELSINKI, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Finnish financial services group OP-Pohjola said it was cutting up to 700 jobs, including 3 1 0 from its listed insurance business Pohjola Bank, bl a ming tougher regulations and low interest rates.

"Banks will be required to show higher capital adequacy ratios and thereby better profitability," Chief Executive Reijo Karhinen said in a statement, adding that costs such as a new banking tax would also add to the burdens it is facing.

Karhinen also forecast Europe's debt crisis would keep interest rates low for much longer than it previously expected, denting interest income in its retail banking business.

OP-Pohjola, which has a total staff of around 13,500 , said the cost cuts would help the group save 150 million euros ($195.8 million) a year by the end of 2015.

Pohjola Bank aims to save 50 million euros per year as part of the programme, the company said.

($1 = 0.7660 euros) (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and David Holmes)

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