(Adds money-laundering provision, quotes, details)
HELSINKI, April 30 (Reuters) - Nordea Bank, the Nordic region’s biggest lender, booked on Tuesday a 95 million euro provision for a possible fine for alleged money-laundering, while posting a bigger-than-expected drop in its first-quarter operating profit.
January-March operating profit fell 36 percent from a year earlier to 621 million euros ($695 million), missing analysts’ average expectation of 730 million in a Reuters poll of 19 analysts.
Nordea is one of the Nordic banks — alongside Danske Bank and Swedbank — to have featured in reports of alleged money-laundering in recent months.
Nordea booked the provision citing its earlier acknowledgement of a possible fine in Denmark for past weak anti-money laundering processes and procedures.
“Harmonisation of antimoney-laundering rules and supervisory practices is necessary, and we would support the creation of an EU-level agency, with the purpose of combating money laundering and financial crime,” Chief Executive Casper von Koskull said in a statement.
Net interest income, the bank’s most important income line, fell 5 percent year-on-year to 1.06 billion euros, having been under pressure due to fierce competition in mortgages and household loans across the region. ($1 = 0.8941 euros) (Reporting by Anne Kauranen and Tarmo Virki; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Shreejay Sinha)