Von Koskull: Nordea’s clear-out shouldn’t have come as surprise

Casper von Koskull, the chief executive of Nordea, held a press conference in Stockholm, Sweden, on 26 October, announcing that the financial services provider will reduce its global headcount by 6,000 by 2021.

Casper von Koskull, the chief executive of Nordea, dashed cold water on hopes that the jobs disappearing in the financial sector will come back - writes helsinkitimes.fi.

Nordea on Wednesday announced it has entered the next phase of its transformation towards a fully digital financial services provider, adding that it will consequently have to terminate roughly 6,000 positions worldwide by 2021.One-third of the positions under threat, it said, will be consulting positions related to its transformation programme.

Von Koskull stated to Bloomberg on Sunday that Nordea is thereby at the forefront of development in the financial sector. Banks, he predicted, “could easily” halve their headcount over the next ten years.

“We may be one of the first ones. This is not a cost cut, per say, it is a way of doing business differently, where you need less people,” he explained, adding that the reactions of trade unions to the announcement are difficult to understand as the company has been moving in this direction for years.

“I think it’s very clear that it’s an ongoing trend in the financial industry, given that this is an industry that is very digital,” he said to Bloomberg. “We’ve been talking about it for years.”

The Union of Professional Business Graduates in Finland (TRAL), for example, has criticised the planned personnel reductions.

“Even though jobs in the financial are changing, mass lay-offs are not the solution. For Nordea, this is a brutal way to cut wages, which is absolutely reprehensible,” Ville-Veikko Rantamaula, a director at TRAL, stated in a press release.

Paula Hopponen, the chief shop steward of Nordea in Finland, estimated to Talouselämä that the financial services provider is seeking to secure its ability to invest and pay dividends by cutting back on staff costs.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

Photo: Jessica Gow – Lehtikuva/AFP

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