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Nordea has reportedly set up almost 400 shell companies in tax havens between 2004 and 2014 through its Luxembourg-based division, Nordea International Private Banking.Nordea has come under severe criticism following reports that it is implicated in a trove of documents leaked from Mossack Fonseca, a major law firm based in Panama, the so-called Panama Papers.

Timo Soini (PS), the Minister for Foreign Affairs, states on his blog that funnelling funds to a tax haven is a sign of moral decay and will gnaw away at the credibility of the financial services provider in protecting the interest of its mortgage customers.

“Damn, how greedy people are,” he wrote on Tuesday.

The Social Democratic Party, meanwhile, announced yesterday that it is mulling over switching banks in protest of the alleged ties of the financial services provider to tax havens.

“It is difficult to understand that Nordea, a Nordic bank, has had a key role in the tax avoidance activities. Nordic countries have for decades fought for the welfare state and against tax avoidance,” Antti Rinne, the chairperson of the opposition party, wrote on Facebook on Monday.

“The SDP cannot be a customer of a bank such as this,” he added.

Casper von Koskull, the chief executive of Nordea, assured in an interview with SVT, the national broadcasting company of Sweden, yesterday evening that he disapproves of tax evasion and that Nordea will end its co-operation with Mossack Fonseca.

YLE reported on Sunday that the Luxembourg-based division of the financial services provider, Nordea International Private Banking, set up nearly 400 shell companies in Panama and the Virgin Islands for its customers in 2004–2014. The national broadcaster is expected to report on the hundreds of Finns implicated in the documents in more detail in its investigative programme MOT next Monday.

The Panama Papers consist of a total of 11.5 million confidential documents and 260 gigabytes of information, making it the largest data leak in history. Hundreds of journalists from several countries have pored over the documents obtained from an anonymous source by Süddeutsche Zeitung, a newspaper published in Munich.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Markku Ulander – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi

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