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2015-04-15

OP's #Putting Finland on new growth path opening for corporate financing: bank loan and risk financing for SMEs in the same package

OP is updating and supplementing corporate financing in Finland by providing a new single financing process model to companies that need both bank loan and risk financing but are not ready to abandon their current ownership.This opening is related to the "Putting Finland on a new growth path" project
initiated at the beginning of 2015. In the project, OP aims to find
suggestions related to its businesses which could have the potential of
increasing economic activity and create a more positive mood for economic
debate. Now it is the turn of corporate financing. The idea is to combine in
a new way banking expertise and wide contacts with the corporate sector and
the investment capacity of institutional investors.

- We made this opening for a better Finland in the same way as we did earlier
this year concerning loan repayment grade periods. We are offering a new
simple and effective financing option to our corporate customers, says Reijo
Karhinen, President, Group Executive Chairman.

- The purpose is to supplement bank financing. This is a new way of providing
risk financing in the Finnish market. At its best, it could spawn new
projects and enable the commercialisation of new innovations.

- Our aim is to take one tangible step towards diversifying the Finnish
capital market and charting the number of SMEs in need of risk financing that
are not ready to turn to venture capitalists, continues Karhinen.

Promoting SMEs' foundations for growth as the aim

OP's previous initiative regarding grace periods has attracted a lot of
attention and spurred positive discussion among households on the management
of their personal finances. This new initiative is aimed at promoting
start-ups in a similar manner.

The new financing package is targeted at companies with net sales of 10-50
million euros. In the initial stage, OP Financial Group's own insurance and
pension institutions will reserve 50 million euros for investments mainly
made in the form of subordinated loans.

If there is demand for this new operating model, OP Financial Group will be
ready to cooperate with institutional investors outside of the Group too. For
institutional investors, the new model in the present market is attractive in
terms of returns and provides the opportunity to spread portfolio risks.

This solution also provides an alternative to a company which would previously
had to apply for a bank loan and mezzanine financing. What is new is that
risk capital will be channelled to a company to finance its growth through a
single financing process.

For more information, please contact:
Harri Nummela, Executive Vice President, Wealth Management
Jouko Pölönen, Executive Vice President, Banking
OP Communications, media contacts, tel. 050 523 9904

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This announcement is distributed by NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions on behalf of NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions clients.
The issuer of this announcement warrants that they are solely responsible for the content, accuracy and originality of the information contained therein.
Source: Pohjola Pankki Oyj via Globenewswire

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