Markku Kuisma & Teemu Keskisarja: Erehtymättömät. Tarina suuresta pankkisodasta ja liikepankeista Suomen kohtaloissa 1862–2012 [The infallible ones. The story of the great bank war and Finland’s commercial banks, 1862–2012]

13 December 2012 | Mini reviews, Reviews

Erehtymättömät. Tarina suuresta pankkisodasta ja liikepankeista Suomen kohtaloissa 1862–2012
[The infallible ones. The story of the great bank war and Finland’s commercial banks, 1862–2012]
Helsinki, WSOY, 2012. 496 p., ill.
ISBN 978-951-0-39228-7
€ 38.80, hardback

Historians Markku Kuisma and Teemu Keskisarja’s lively book tells the story of Finland’s commercial banks, from the establishment of the first one in 1862. A recurrent theme in the book is the competition between the two largest. With their relations to and allies in the business world the banks have had an important social and political influence in the country. The commercial banking institutions have had more prominence than others, and the directors have often been strong personalities. Most of the emphasis in the book is placed on the final decades of the 20th century. In the 1980s the financial markets were deregulated, and the boom of the ‘crazy years’ of the bank war was accelerated by share trading and cornering. In 1995 the recession caused by the banking crisis led to the merger of the two largest commercial banks. A few years later this new institution merged with a Swedish one, and the large new bank Nordea subsequently expanded to neighbouring countries. The age of large national commercial banks in Finland was over.
Translated by David McDuff

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