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OP-Pohjola Group solid capital adequacy is well above the level required of European banks

October 27, 2011 - London

OP-Pohjola Group
Press release
27 October 2011 at 8.10 am

The European Banking Authority (EBA) has come up with a new requirement concerning banks' capital buffers, raising the minimum Core Tier 1 ratio from 5% to 9%. The EBA also requires that the change of market values of European sovereign bonds must be considered in full in capital adequacy calculations.

According to EBA's estimate, OP-Pohjola Group is not required to take any action to improve its capital adequacy because the Group's Core Tier 1 ratio is high and the sovereign bond risks are low. OP-Pohjola Group's Core Tier 1 ratio was 12.0% on 30 June 2011, which was clearly above the minimum level set by the EBA. OP-Pohjola Group member banks' direct investments in GIIPS government bonds had a value of EUR 42 million on 31 July.

"New calculations by the authorities show that OP-Pohjola Group does not need capitalisation, as we already exceed even their tightened limits with flying colours," says the Group's Executive Chairman Reijo Karhinen.  

"Our extremely strong capacity to fend off crises creates stability in our operations, and we continue to provide financing to our customers normally despite the debt crisis in Europe.

"I hope this can bring to an end to the alarmist talk in Finland of banks requiring to be capitalised. The problems of the Finnish economy lie quite elsewhere, not in Finnish banks. Our national economy needs to be concerned about our external price competitiveness and bringing our public financing into balance," Mr Karhinen stresses.

EBA's updated estimate on the equity was calculated on 70 large European banks. The estimate concerning OP-Pohjola Group has to do with banking operations, covering, among others, Pohjola Bank plc and the Group member cooperative banks.

For more information about EBA's capital buffer estimates, go to the Financial Supervisory Authority's website on www.

OP-Pohjola Group will publish its financial statements for January-September on Wednesday, 2 November.

For further information, please contact:
Harri Luhtala, CFO, tel. +358 (0)10 252 2433
Carina Geber-Teir, Chief Communications Officer, tel. +358 (0)10 252 8394

OP-Pohjola Group in brief

OP-Pohjola Group is Finland's leading financial services group providing a unique range of banking, investment and insurance services. The Group has the mission of promoting the sustainable prosperity, well-being and security of its owner-members, customers and operating regions through its local presence. Its objective is to offer the best and most versatile package of loyal customer benefits on the market. OP-Pohjola Group consists of some 200 member cooperative banks and the Group's central institution, OP-Pohjola Group Central Cooperative, with its subsidiaries and closely-related companies, the largest of which is the listed company Pohjola Bank plc. With a staff of more than 12,000, OP-Pohjola Group posted consolidated earnings of 575 million euros before tax in 2010 and had total assets of 84 billion euros on 31 December 2010. The group has over four million customers.


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Source: Pohjola Pankki Oyj via Thomson Reuters ONE



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