The level of profitability and return on investment achieved by NORD/LB’s new branch in Stockholm less than two years after its establishment in 1999, confirmed the overwhelming success of the bank’s business strategy to expand its operations in Scandinavia. For this reason, NORD/LB took the strategic decision to extend its business in the region still further and opened a representative office in Helsinki in February 2001.
As Eero Niomioja, Managing Director of NORD/LB’s operations in Helsinki points out, "Business volumes have increased dramatically since the office was established just under a year ago. The success of this venture has confirmed the bank’s original decision to continue the expansion of its business operations in Finland, and upgrade the Helsinki representative office to full international branch status with effect from 2nd January 2002."
In the interim, before the bank obtained a full banking licence for its Helsinki office, NORD/LB needed to install a suitable system to provide comprehensive support for its planned banking operations. However, the extensive review of potential software packages carried out in 1999, prior to the establishment of the bank’s Stockholm branch had already identified Misys’ Midas system as the preferred solution for NORD/LB’s international branches. Therefore, Midas was selected as the system of choice for the bank’s Helsinki branch, in line with its policy of standardising on a common platform for international branch operations.
Implementation of Midas got under way in October 2001 and was completed in less than two months, the system being fully operational in time for the official branch opening on 2nd January 2002. Midas provides comprehensive support for the full range of transactions generated by NORD/LB’s international corporate banking business. The system also has the potential to handle the future growth and expansion of the bank’s business, as well as offering the advantage of speed to market. The ongoing enhancement of Midas, with the addition of further front and back-office functionality, also ensures that the system continues to evolve in line with the bank’s own business development.
Eero Niomioja comments, "Standardising on Midas has enabled the bank to implement a comprehensive banking solution for the Helsinki branch quickly and easily, and with the minimum of effort. With the support the system provides for our operations, we believe we can continue to expand our business and match the success achieved by our Stockholm branch."
Mr. Fred Wehrenpfennig from NORD/LB’s Head Office in Hannover says, "The bank’s strategy of expanding its international branch network to provide specialised services to corporate clients, has proved to be an overwhelming success. We have been able to harness our expertise to assist customers in making investment decisions, financing commercial ventures and gaining access to new markets outside Germany through our extended network of branches and representative offices. In turn, this has contributed to the bank’s own continuing success."