Sparebanken Øst, founded in 1843, is a Norwegian bank with a long history and an eye on the future. As part of this future-focused orientation, Sparebanken Øst announced today that they have taken a 16.3% ownership stake in NBX, which will enable them to gain new knowledge and solutions as well as learn from and gain a foothold in the innovative financial-sector initiatives through NBX’s experience and endeavours.
Since 2005, Sparebanken Øst has emphasized the development of knowledge and experience in key digital development areas within the financial industry. In advancing the bank’s traditional products and services, this digital transformation has been especially important in acquiring expertise in digital distribution and driving change in customer behavior. The bank’s VIPPS collaboration has enabled both ownership and distribution opportunities in another traditional business area that is ripe for disruption: payment services.
Joining Forces for Industry Disruption and Innovation
NBX, too, have an eye on payment services as well as the entire traditional financial ecosystem.
NBX’s ambition has been since the beginning to challenge existing financial ecosystems, including payment systems, where digital currencies can drive change and innovation.
As the NBX offer of digital asset trading, payment and saving solutions, and blockchain-based services has moved toward the mainstream, Sparebanken Øst believes, in taking an ownership interest in NBX, that NBX offers solutions that will equip the bank to manage competition and future-oriented solutions for its customers.
During the ownership assessment, Sparebanken Øst have looked carefully at the strategic drive and execution ability of NBX’s real-world implementation. Collaboration with Norwegian Air Shuttle, a key player partnering with NBX, may be a springboard for launching new solutions on a mass scale, and the bank sees great market potential both nationally and internationally. Sparebanken Øst believe that NBX have come a long way in the development of its core solutions, offering secure, robust and scalable possibilities for digital trading and payment services. It is important for Sparebanken Øst that the company can satisfactorily meet the quality requirements imposed by the authorities, including customer identification and anti-money laundering, with which NBX are well-aligned. NBX as a company are in an early development phase, and Sparebanken Øst are eager to leverage the great potential for learning and development this early phase promises.
Sparebanken Øst — A Solid Investor
The Sparebanken Øst Group has, as of 30 June 2019, equity of approximately NOK 4 billion and a capital adequacy ratio of 19.35%. The exposure in NBX amounts to NOK 15 million, corresponding to an ownership interest of 16.3%. While risk is high in NBX, the investment is financially marginal for the bank. The bank believes that the ownership position in NBX is sound, based on the bank’s solidity and risk profile, and is responsible in relation to the bank’s needs and desire to take a leading role in technological developments in the industry.
For further information, please contact:
CEO Pål Strand
Norwegian Block Exchange AS
Managing Director Stig Aleksander Kjos-Mathisen