Sweden-based Nordea Bank has signed an agreement to acquire Norwegian insurer Gjensidige Forsikring’s online banking business Gjensidige Bank for €578m.

Gjensidige Bank offers digital banking services, mortgages, loans, and other internet-based services.

The acquisition, part of Swedish bank’s strategy to strengthen its position in Norway market, is expected to boost its customer base by around 176,000 and asset base by additional €4.84bn.

Additionally, it is expected to deliver annualised cost synergies of nearly €25m from a comabined cost base of Nordea and Gjensidige by 2022.

Nordea Norway branch manager Snorre Storset said: “This is a significant step for us and underlines our strategy and ambition to grow in the important Norwegian market.

“As the largest bank in the Nordics it is natural for us to partner up with the leading insurance company in Norway.

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“This agreement means that many more Norwegians will get a relation to Nordea, and we fully intend to serve them to the best of our capability.”

The transaction, expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019, is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Following the completion of the acquisition, Gjensidige Bank will be integrated with Nordea. About 170 Gjensidige Bank employees are also expected to migrate to the company.

Gjensidige CEO Helge Leiro Baastad said: “Our partnership agreement with Nordea will enable Gjensidige to offer a wider range of financing products to both private and commercial customers.

“The agreement will also provide the opportunity to expand our customer reach through one of the leading Nordic banks with digitalisation and innovation high on the agenda.”