A door opener to Norway

December 14, 2009

Norway’s banking sector is dominated by its “national champion”, DnB NOR. The nickname was given in the late nineties during the hectic wave of consolidation in the Nordic banking sector.

“DnB NOR has a unique platform in the Norwegian market, with a more than 30% market share in all segments and a nationwide distribution network which no competitor comes close to matching,” said Rune Bjerke, DnB NOR chief executive.

Shipping, Offshore & Logistics
The bank is the market leader within lending to and deposits from both retail and corporate customers, providing its services through a variety of channels, including 200 branches, 800 in-store banking outlets, telephone and Internet banking. The Group also owns Vital Forsikring, Norway’s largest insurance company, which has a 33% market share in the life insurance market. In total, around half of all Norwegians and Norwegian companies are customers of DnB NOR.

DnB NOR’s strong position and presence in its home market, as well as the Group’s industry expertise within the typical Norwegian industries, have made DnB NOR a natural door opener for international companies and investors needing a financial partner in Norway.

DnB NOR is one of the world’s largest providers of finance within shipping, offshore and logistics, serving both Norwegian and international clients. Its Houston office brings the Group closer to its energy clients. During close to 40 years, the bank’s branches in Singapore and London have met the local requirements of their international clients. In Luxembourg, the Group manages extensive funds on behalf of its high net-worth clients. The office in Santiago, specialized in providing financial services to seafood companies and the energy industry in South America, opened in the summer of 2008. In total, the Group has 14 international branches and representative offices.

“Shipping, energy and seafood are industries where Norway has an inherent comparative advantage and long traditions, and it is primarily within these sectors that DnB NOR has built up unsurpassed expertise in the financial sector,” said Bjerke.

Record of Success
“We have a long record of success in helping companies expand into new parts of the world based on long-term customer relations, competitive products and local presence. As part of our international strategy, we also assist companies seeking to expand into the Nordic region, drawing on our solid understanding of the Nordic region’s economies, infrastructures and tax policies, while benefiting from our role as Norway’s leading foreign exchange bank. At our FX desks, we can literally follow more than half of Norway’s foreign trade.”

DnB NOR employs about 15,000 people worldwide, one-third of whom are stationed outside Norway. DnB NOR is investing in training measures to promote mobility, adaptability and internationalization. The Group’s management development programmes emphasize the importance of a common corporate culture and the value of network building. During 2008, there were more than 20,000 participants, both managers and other employees, in various competence initiatives. In 2007, the Group became the first financial institution to put together a tailor-made Master’s Programme for its employees to improve competence in the areas of international trade and cultural differences.

“DnB NOR’s most important resource is the Group’s competent employees, and no other organization in Norway has such a concentration of expertise within finance. One of the Group’s most valuable assets and an important competitive advantage is our knowledge and understanding of our customers’ needs,” said Bjerke.

“To ensure our customers optimal service, we require employees with the correct skills and competence throughout the Group. This entails that DnB NOR must continually adapt to changing customer needs and behaviour, and this is only possible through flexible, adaptable and mobile employees.”

DnB NOR represents more than 180 years of financial history, from the establishment of Christiania Sparebank in 1822 to the formation of DnB NOR as the leading Norwegian financial services group in 2003.

DnB NOR is one of the world’s largest providers of finance within shipping, offshore and logistics.

1822 Christiania Sparebank established
1847 Christiania almindelige gjensidige forsørgelsesanstalt established (Gjensidige Livsforsikring – life insurance)
1855 Bergens Privatbank established
1857 Den norske Creditbank (DnC) established
1928 Bergens Kreditbank established
1975 Bergen Bank established through the merger between Bergens Privatbank and Bergens Kreditbank
1990 Den norske Bank (DnB) established through the merger between Den norske Creditbank (DnC) and Bergen Bank
1996 DnB acquired Vital Forsikring
1999 Merger between DnB and Postbanken
2002 DnB acquired Skandia Asset Management
2003 DnB acquired Nordlandsbanken
2003 DnB Holding ASA and Gjensidige NOR ASA completed the merger and established DnB NOR

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