Nordic financial services giant Nordea is investing further in financial technology (fintech) collaboration by moving a number of staff into the Stockholm Fintech Hub to get closer to Sweden’s startup scene.
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The bank wants its people to be close to fintech activity in the Swedish capital. “We want to be where the interaction is happening,” said Ewan MacLeod, chief digital officer at Nordea. “[We recognise] we don’t have all the good ideas and sometimes the good ideas come from outside. This is one way to ensure we are exposed to that and that we are open and participating.”
The move will see Nordea employees occupy several desks at the Stockholm Fintech Hub’s co-working space, where the bank hopes to have access to everyday discussions with fintech startups, financial institutions and tech companies.
Nordea has not confirmed the number of staff it will have working at the hub, but it is expected to be similar to the partnership it has with the Copenhagen Fintech Hub, where six to 10 Nordea staff work regularly. MacLeod said the aim is to expose staff from the bank’s legal and compliance teams to working with startups and seeing what is happening in the market.
“We are deliberately encouraging staff in all kinds of roles to circulate throughout the hubs,” he said. “We have a few digital people who are located there almost permanently, but we encourage as many of our employees as possible to come and have meetings there.”
Nordea is not pursuing a specific agenda in its Stockholm partnership, said MacLeod. The objective is to be present and open to new ideas and collaboration, which can take the form of commercial partnerships, investments or acquisitions.
Read more about fintech in the Nordics
- London has become the undisputed European capital for financial technology, but the Nordic countries have strong ambitions to challenge for the number one spot.
- Swedish bank Nordea has continued its policy of fintech collaboration by forming a partnership with a Stockholm-based payments startup to expand its mobile offering.
- Nordea launches a mobile savings app from Norwegian finanical technology company Spiff.
Nordea has been gearing up its digital strategy recently, agreeing multiple collaborations with Nordic fintechs, including an open banking portal for third-party developers, which the bank launched in March. Nordea Group CEO Casper Von Koskull has been vocal about the importance of close fintech collaboration for the bank, and MacLeod echoes his message.
“There is such an ecosystem out there that we can benefit from and contribute to,” he said. “So we should be working with the ecosystem to create and look for the best possible services out there.”