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European Central Bank approves Luminor cross-border merger

Luminor headquarters in Tallinn.
Luminor headquarters in Tallinn. Source: (Rene Suurkaev/ERR)

Luminor has the ECB's approval for the cross-border merger of Luminor in the Baltic states. The merger will bring together the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian former branches of Nordea and DNB, and the legal change is expected to take place on 2 January 2019.

On 29 March Luminor's Baltic branches signed a cross-border merger agreement, and the ECB confirmed in May that branches under the new name may be set up in Latvia and Lithuania and take up banking activities, Luminor announced in a press release on Monday.

Now that the final approval of the ECB has been given, Luminor will proceed with the implementation of the legal change, effectively creating a new Baltic bank in the ownership of Swedish Luminor Group.

The bank said in its press release that its daily operations as well as customer service will continue to operate as usual. Other developments, including changes related to the bank's products and services will be communicated separately, the statement read.

Luminor goes back to a merger of Nordea and DNB's Baltic branches in October 2017. There are plans to take the new bank to the stock exchange as well.

As chairman of Luminor's board of directors, Erkki Raasuke said after the bank was signed into existence last year, Luminor is simpler but with a more specific focus than its predecessors. It will resemble Nordea in its corporate banking and DNB in its personal banking, drawing on the respective strengths of each predecessor bank, Raasuke added.

Luminor is the third largest financial service provider in the Baltics. Its holdings account for 16% and and loans 23% of their respective markets. The merger of the two banks' Baltic operations is creating a customer base of 1.3 million people.

As of late 2017, Luminor's holdings are worth a total of €9 billion.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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