Nordea's history in Finland begins with the establishment of the Union Bank of Finland, the first commercial bank in the country. The Senate approved the bank's license on 21 May 1862 and the bank began its operations in July the same year.
Photo: Union Bank of Finland, Kuopio, 1897.
In total, Nordea's family tree in Finland consists of 25 commercial banks. Finnish family tree includes three other main banks in addition to the Union Bank of Finland: Kansallis-Osake-Pankki, Helsingin Osakepankki and Suomen Työväen Säästöpankki (STS-pankkiOpens new window). Finland's first savings bank is also part of Nordea's history as the successors of the branches of Savings Bank of Turku were merged with the Union Bank of Finland when it acquired Suomen Säästöpankki in 1993. Though this, Nordea's oldest roots date back to 1822 in Finland.
The Union Bank of Finland and Kansallis-Osake-Pankki merged in 1995. They formed a new bank called Merita, but another merger was just around the corner. In 1998, Merita and the Swedish Nordbanken merged establishing the MeritaNordbanken Group.
Photo: Signing of the MeritaNordbanken merger agreement on 13 October 1997. Photographed by Ilkka Leino.
The new name Nordea was adopted in the late 2001. At the time, the Danish Unibank and the Norwegian Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse had also joined the Group.
In Scandinavia, Nordea's predecessor banks include some of the oldest banks in the Nordic countries, such as Sparekassen for Kjobenhavn og Omegn (Denmark, founded in 1820), Wermlandsbanken (Sweden, founded in 1832) and Christiania Kreditkasse (Norway, founded in 1848).