Itella to divest Itella Bank to Savings Banks

Itella Corporation will divest the entire share capital of Itella Bank Ltd to Savings Banks. The change in ownership will not have an impact on the bank's customer or cooperation contracts. They will continue as usual. The 29 people included in Itella Bank’s personnel will be transferred to bank owned by the Savings Banks as existing employees.

The bank's operations and service development will continue as usual. Through subcontracting, the Savings Banks Group will provide Itella with the payment traffic and other functions Itella needs for its services.

- The original goal of establishing Itella Bank was to develop payment solutions for the rapidly growing online commerce sector. However, being a successful bank would have required us to clearly expand into product areas which do not have synergy with Itella's core business. Therefore, we decided to give up banking. The Savings Banks Group is the strategically correct owner for Itella Bank and is capable of responsibly taking care of the organization's and personnel's development in the future, says Heikki Malinen, CEO of Itella.  

- The options for the Savings Banks Group group were to either build their own central credit institution service from scratch, or to buy a well-functioning bank which already has these services. For us, acquiring Itella Bank was clearly the best choice. Banking is our core business, and the Savings Banks have the skills and the willingness to invest in it. Therefore, it is natural that we take care of Itella's banking functions as its partner, says Pasi Kämäri, CEO of the Savings Banks Association.

The Savings Banks Group will start providing its central credit institution services in early 2015 at the latest. The current partner, Aktia, announced in late January 2013 that it is too expensive for them to provide central credit institution services due to stricter regulations.

- The acquisition indicates the Savings Banks Group's agility to secure their competitiveness, and their readiness to meet the challenges of future regulations, says Kämäri.

The parties have not disclosed the purchase price. The realization of the transaction requires approval from the Savings Banks' administrative bodies.

The name of Itella Bank is going to change. The working title of the new bank is Bank of Savings Banks Ltd.

The goal is to conclude the divestment by April 30, 2013.

Further information

Itella:
CEO Heikki Malinen, tel. +358 20 452 3366 (MediaDesk)

Savings Banks Association:
CEO Pasi Kämäri, tel. +358 9 5480 5240 or +358 500 688 222

Itella Group provides solutions for managing information and product flows. Itella operates in the fields of mail communications, logistics, and financial management in Europe and Russia. Net sales in 2012 amounted to EUR 1,947 million. The number of staff is approximately 27,500. Corporate services are delivered under the Itella brand, while the Posti brand is used for services targeted at consumers in Finland. Further information is available online at www.itella.com.

The Savings Banks Group includes 33 Savings Banks and the central organisation, Savings Banks Association. They have 206 branch offices of their own, and through cooperation, customers have access to almost 400 offices, 200 service and payment machines and all cash machines in Finland. The mission of the Savings Banks is to promote saving and the financial well-being of the customers. Being customer-oriented and being local are the basic principles of the service. The goal is to achieve continuous, profitable growth and to maintain solvency at a secure level. Business profit in 2012 was EUR 67.1 million, solvency was 22.1%, and the number of customers was 588,500. www.saastopankki.fi

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