Nordea is to launch an equity-based online crowdfunding platform in Finland, matching entrepreneurs seeking financing with investors.
Crowdfunding is growing in popularity in Finland as an alternative source of finance, with EUR85 million raised in 2015, up EUR30 million on the previous year.
The Finnish Parliament is currently processing a government proposal for a crowdfunding act that will create a consistent set of rules to improve investor protection and clarify the responsibilities of supervisory authorities.
Sampsa Laine, deputy head of Banking Finland at Nordea, says: "The proposed act is excellent news for Finnish growth companies, as I believe that corporate financing needs a well-functioning investment-based capital market to complement bank financing and public funding channels."
Nordea has developed its online service in cooperation with the central securities depository Euroclear Finland and the Finnish software company Futurice, providing a direct feed into its book-entry system. The bank says it will not act in an advisory role, instead serving as an intermediary platform between companies and individuals and investors.
"Our crowdfunding service is linked to the book-entry system, making it easier for investors to gain a good overview of their investments when they are all in one place," says Sebastian Wikström from Nordea Markets’ Alternative Finance Solutions. "We wish to be a pioneer in the transformation of the financial market in Finland and the Nordic countries."