Nemea Bank

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Nemea Bank plc
Investment Services
FoundedSeptember 2, 2008 (2008-09-02)
FoundersHeikki Niemelä
Mika Lehto
FateLicense Withdrawn
(Withdrawal may be appealed)
St Julians
Area served
EU/EEA region
ProductsNemea Instant Payment
Savings Accounts
Term Deposit Accounts
Business Accounts
ParentNemea plc

Nemea Bank was a pan-European direct bank incorporated in Malta, providing banking and investment services to individuals, businesses, institutions and high net worth individuals based in the 31 countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). The bank is currently under administration and its license was withdrawn by the ECB on the 23rd March 2017.

As a direct bank, Nemea Bank did not operate any physical bank branches but provided all its products and services online. Nemea Bank was credited with developing the Nemea Instant Payment (NIP) product, which enabled real time global money transfers between Nemea clients at no cost.[1][2] On 27 April 2016 the bank was put under administration by the Malta Financial Services Authority due to "serious regulatory shortcomings" identified by the MFSA and the ECB in joint on-site inspections.[3] On 20 January 2017, the MFSA announced its decision to propose to the ECB the withdrawal of Nemea Bank’s license.[4] The bank's license was eventually withdrawn on the 23rd March 2017.[5]


Nemea Bank was founded on 2 September 2008, upon its licensing as an EU-regulated bank[6] by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA).[7][8] The Bank is a member of the Maltese Depositor Compensation Scheme,[9] which is based on EU Directive 94/19 on deposit-guarantee schemes[10] and protects client deposits up to €100,000 per client.[11] It is also a member of the Malta Investor Protection Scheme.[12]

Nemea Bank is wholly owned by its parent company Nemea plc. The largest shareholder of Nemea plc is Nevestor SA, a European investment company based in Belgium. The bank is ultimately jointly owned by its founders Heikki Niemelä and Mika Lehto,[13] both of whom are Finnish bankers. There are no other interests, financiers, investors or other institutions involved in Nemea Bank[14] Besides the Finnish founders, the bank's administrators included former Maltese PM Lawrence Gonzi and manager Joseph F. X. Zahra.[15]

On 14 February 2013, Nemea Bank launched its first major deposit products for both retail and business clients. These comprised a collection of short and long term deposit products as well as treasury cash management services for small and medium-sized enterprises.[16] These products were increased to cover eight term deposit options, ranging from 1 month to 5 years, in July 2014.[17][18][19][20]

On 27 April 2016, the Malta Financial Services Authority announced that following joint on-site inspections with the European Central Bank serious regulatory shortcomings were identified, which subsequently led to its decision to appoint PwC as administrators.[3] Following this decision, clients were informed that daily withdrawals were limited to €250 daily, and opening of new accounts or new client deposits into accounts were prohibited.[21] By that time, Nemea held €62 million worth of client deposits.[22] The MFSA announced its decision to propose the withdrawal of the bank's license in January 2017, and the ECB eventually withdrew the license on the 23rd March, 2017.[23][24] The MFSA depositor compensation scheme paid out a total of €35 million to the bank's customer, for up to €100,000 each. According to the administrator's report, as of June 2019 Nemea had had assets of €45 million and liabilities of €48.89. Its accumulated losses stood at €12.6 million. By early 2020, Nemea still owed customers €13.2 million in deposits. The bank's liquidation has stalled due to pending legal appeals.[22] A request to stay proceeding was denied by the Financial Services Tribunal in November 2019.[25]

Business Model[edit]

Nemea Bank was an online-only bank; it did not operate brick and mortar bank branches and its clients subscribe to and manage all their products and services through an online banking platform.[26] As a direct bank, Nemea operated with lower costs and overheads than traditional banks' relative cost base.[27]

Nemea Bank earned income by generating interest, fees and commissions, and financial income. When clients transfer and deposit money at the Bank, their funds are invested by the Bank in loans, deposits, other fixed income instruments and other low risk securities, generating income for the bank.

Before the bank's license was suspended, and eventually withdrawn, Nemea Bank offered its products and services to clients in all 31 countries of the EU/EEA region by virtue of the European Union’s “single passport” regime, a system that allows financial services operators legally established in one EU/EEA Member State to establish and provide their services in all other Member States.[28]

Nemea Bank provided customer service and communication in 7 languages: English, Spanish, French, Greek, Italian, Dutch and Finnish.[29]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Erkko, Anni (July 28, 2010), "Toista tällaista ei ole". Kauppalehti. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  2. ^ "How to Save Money Making International Payments". Moneywire. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Serious regulatory shortcomings identified at Nemea Bank plc - MFSA - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  4. ^ "Withdraw Nemea Bank's license, MFSA tells European Central Bank". Times of Malta. January 20,2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017
  5. ^ "Nemea Bank loses its banking licence". Times of Malta. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017
  6. ^ "The ECB publishes final list of significant credit institutions for Malta and other EU jurisdictions". The Malta Independent. September 12, 2014. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  7. ^ "Nemea Bank plc (Licence Holder Information)" Archived 2015-04-06 at the Wayback Machine. Malta Financial Services Authority. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  8. ^ Morera Celdrán, Julio Marco (March 7, 2015), "Seis bancos que ofrecen depósitos en España con intereses entre el 1,75% y el 4%". Cada €uro Cuenta. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  9. ^ Participants in the Depositor Compensation Scheme. Depositor Compensation Scheme (Malta). April 9, 2013. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  10. ^ Deposit Guarantee Schemes. Europa (web portal). November 11, 2014. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  11. ^ Casillas, Cristina (September 15, 2014), "¿Se abriría un depósito en un banco en Malta para ganar un 3%?". Inversión & Finanzas. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  12. ^ Participants in the Investor Compensation Scheme. Depositor Compensation Scheme (Malta). July 21, 2014. Retrieved February 25, 2015.
  13. ^ Toivanen, Heikki (March 1, 2014), "Pankkiiri, Pyhäniemen herra ja Patruunanmäen isäntä". Savon Sanomat. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  14. ^ Discover Nemea Archived 2015-06-05 at the Wayback Machine. Nemea Bank. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  15. ^ TVM, April 2016
  16. ^ "Young Nemea Bank introduces first term deposit products". The Sunday Times. February 24, 2013, p. S2. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  17. ^ "Nemea, un banco de Malta que ofrece un ¡4% TAE! en sus depósitos". El Boletin. September 12, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  18. ^ "NemeaBank baja la rentabilidad de sus depósitos contratables desde España". TuCapital. February 19, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  19. ^ "El banco maltés Nemea Bank comercializa un depósito al 4 % TAE disponible desde España". El Plural. March 2, 2015. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  20. ^ Charlet, Marc (January 31, 2015), "Epargne à taux fixe: la baisse des taux s’est encore accélérée". Le Soir. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  21. ^ Ltd, Allied Newspapers. "Nemea Bank client withdrawals limited to €250 per day". Times of Malta. Retrieved 2016-05-30.
  22. ^ a b Times of Malta, 27 Jan 2020
  23. ^ "Nemea Bank loses its banking licence". Times of Malta. March 24, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017
  24. ^ "Nemea Bank loses its banking license". "Nomad Gate". March 23, 2017. Retrieved March 29, 2017
  25. ^ Malta Today, Nov 2019
  26. ^ "Nemea Bank, el banco con los mejores depósitos 2014" Archived 2015-06-15 at the Wayback Machine. Ábaco Finanzas. August 7, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  27. ^ Cañete, Borja (December 11, 2014), "Los bancos que no se adapten al mundo digital serán superados: entrevista a David Herrera". Rankia. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  28. ^ [1]. Europa (web portal). December 5, 2014. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  29. ^ "Nemea Bank (al 4,25% TAE) pone una WEB y unos interlocutores en Castellano". TuCapital. July 23, 2014. Retrieved March 16, 2015.