Nordea closes its bank in Russia

MOSCOW, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Nordea Bank has decided to close its business in Russia, the Nordic region’s biggest lender said on Thursday, citing the group’s strategy to focus on core customers.

Nordea, which had said in 2014 it was likely to reduce exposure to Russia over time, is leaving the Russian market at times when the latter is dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus crisis and mounting risks of bad loans.

“Nordea has decided to reduce its network of international branches, incl. closure and liquidation of Nordea Bank Russia,” it said on its website.

The bank, which had 36 billion roubles ($494 million) in assets in Russia as of Nov. 1, said it will “focus on securing a smooth migration and closure of customer activities and taking care of our staff in this process.”

$1 = 72.9135 roubles Reporting by Tatiana Voronova; Writing by Andrey Ostroukh; Editing by Nick Zieminski