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KBN joins Nordic agency cooperation

A bridge with night time illumination in Oslo.

The Nordic local government funding agencies – set up to provide low cost and stable funding for public investments in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden – are amongst Europe’s most creditworthy and important issuers of SSA debt. Collectively, Kommunalbanken (Norway), KommuneKredit (Denmark), Kommuninvest (Sweden) and Municipality Finance (Finland), issue $35-40 billion annually in bonds, notes, and commercial paper.

While issuing separately in the capital markets, the institutions have strong relationships and cooperate closely within certain areas to benchmark the organisations’ practices, enhance knowledge sharing and sourcing, among others.

– Given the similarity between the institutions, it makes a lot of sense to cooperate. It enables us to achieve further economies of scale and knowledge, which is really fundamental to all of us, says Tomas Werngren, Kommuninvest’s president.

A formal cooperation between Kommunekredit, Kommuninvest and Municipality Finance has been in place since 2011. Kommunalbanken (KBN) now joins this group.

– We look forward to joining the Nordic cooperation. Our organisations are set up with the same purposes, we have strong cultural ties and share many of the same values. To be able to exchange information on best practice, to discuss common challenges and opportunities will strengthen our knowledge base for the benefit of our customers and owners, says Kristine Falkgård, President and CEO of Kommunalbanken.

Ms. Falkgård says meeting the Nordic colleagues is a great inspiration.

– We all perform important public tasks in our economies and recognize the importance of having a strong Nordic voice in many contexts. This collaboration will help us deliver on our mandates; to secure cost efficient finance for local government investments in our respective countries.

The agencies’ cooperation typically deals with a handful of prioritised strategic projects at a time. Currently, the focus projects include collateral management, digital services, new regulations (EMIR), credit analysis and valuations.