STOCKHOLM, April 27 (Reuters) - Nordea, the Nordic region’s biggest bank by market value, reported first-quarter operating profit in line with market expectations on Thursday and said it was looking into moving its headquarters from Sweden.
Operating profit was 1.10 billion euros ($1.20 billion), compared with a mean forecast for 1.07 billion euros seen in a Reuters poll of analysts and a year-ago figure of 1.01 billion euros.
“The low-intensive growth continued in the beginning of 2017, although we are now seeing good potential for a synchronised recovery with improving growth prospect,” CEO Casper von Koskull said in a statement.
Net interest income, which includes income from mortgages and loans to companies, rose to 1.20 billion euros from 1.17 billion euros a year ago, a tad higher than the expected 1.18 billion euros.
Nordea repeated it is looking into moving its headquarters from Sweden to Denmark or Finland if the Swedish government raises fees for the country’s banking rescue fund.
“In recent years, the government policy in Sweden has become increasingly unpredictable and deviates significantly from the rest of EU, where most of our competitors are domiciled,” Koskull said.
The Swedish government proposed raising fees for the resolution fund - used to bail out failing banks - in February after a plan for a banking tax fell through. It would hit Nordea harder than other Swedish banks as it has brought in its Nordic subsidiaries into its Swedish corporate structure.
Net commission income rose to 866 million euros from 772 million euros a year ago, higher than the expected 831 million euros.
Loan losses rose marginally to 113 million euros from 111 million euros a year ago, better than the expected 127 million euros.
$1 = 0.9172 euros Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Simon Johnson and Subhranshu Sahu