COPENHAGEN, March 27 (Reuters) - Nordic bank Nordea is welcome to move its headquarters to Copenhagen from Stockholm, and should not fear a fee increase like the one Sweden is contemplating, Denmark’s business minister Brian Mikkelsen said on Monday.
Nordea chairman Bjorn Wahlroos said earlier this month that the Nordic region’s biggest lender would likely propose to move its headquarters from Sweden if the government raises fees for the country’s banking rescue fund.
Copenhagen has been mentioned in local media as a possible new home for the bank, as Denmark’s is its largest market, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the total operating income of close to 10 billion euros ($10.1 billion) in 2016.
“We are obviously ready to welcome companies to Denmark that can create growth and jobs,” Mikkelsen said in comment emailed to Reuters. “That also goes for Nordea if they have concrete plans to move their headquarters”.
After a plan for a banking tax fell through in February, the Swedish government proposed raising fees for the resolution fund, which is used to bail out failing banks.
“The government is working on improving the business climate in Denmark, and we have no intention of introducing a tax corresponding to the one Sweden is contemplating,” Mikkelsen said.
He said it would strengthen Denmark’s position as a key supplier of financial services on an international scale if Nordea chose to move its headquarters to Denmark.
“It’s my clear perception that it would be a great advantage for the rest of the banking sector if we get such a financial cluster to Denmark,” Mikkelsen said.
Danske Bank, another top-tier Nordic bank, is headquartered in Copenhagen.
$1 = 0.9191 euros Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Ken Ferris