Includes special features of this country’s banking system and rules/laws that might impact U.S. business.

The Finnish banking system is dominated by three major groups of deposit banks together employing over 21,000 people in banking: OP Group, Nordea Bank Finland, and Danske Bank Plc Group at the end of 2017. Operating since 1982, Citibank International plc. was the first foreign branch in Finland.

The entire financial world is going through massive change with the arrival of financial technology, fintech. Banks are adapting to changes by cutting on personnel, closing offices, corporate restructuring, and renewing business models. The sector’s operations were influenced by low and even negative market rates, stricter regulation, expanding digitalization, and slow growth in the national economy. In Finland the number of institutions has decreased. At the end of 2017, there were 267 credit institutions operating in Finland. These included domestic deposit banks, investment banks, and branches and subsidiaries of foreign deposit banks and credit institutions. The banks had a total of 970 offices in Finland at the end of 2017,which is 69 fewer than the year before. Mergers have shaped the modern Finnish banking sector. Banks and insurance companies have sought new forms of cooperation, and the operations of banks have extended to many sectors of financing and investment.

The most important piece of legislation governing banking in Finland is the Act on Credit Institutions. Compliance with the laws and regulations is overseen by the Financial Supervisory Authority, which also monitors that banks maintain a healthy ratio of capital adequacy. The overall capital adequacy ratio of the Finnish banking sector was one of the strongest in Europe. The Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA), also known as Finanssivalvonta (FIVA) is the authority for supervision of Finland’s financial and insurance sectors. The entities supervised by the FIN-FSA include banks, insurance and pension companies as well as other companies operating in the insurance sector, investment firms, fund management companies, and the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

The Federation of Finnish Financial Services (FKL) is a trade body that represents its member companies who engage in the financial services industry in Finland. The Federation was formed at the start of 2007, when the Finnish Bankers’ Association, the Federation of Finnish Insurance Companies, the Finnish Finance Houses Association, and the Employers’ Association of Finnish Financial Institutions joined forces. The Finnish Association of Securities Dealers also joined the Federation in 2009.
For further information on banks and the Finnish banking system, please see Federation of Finnish Financial Services.

 

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Finland Market Access Banks