Great unknown awaits funds as Finland approaches financial sector strike, lockout

Managers in Finland are divided over the impact on their funds of the pending lockout of banking staff, as an industrial dispute in the country’s financial services sector moves to brinkmanship.

Ari Metso, managing director at Taaleritehdas Asset Management, said that any strike in the banking sector would hit wealth management and funds because of  settlement and bank payment issues.

Although not targeted specifically, in practical terms if banks cannot guarantee settlements and money transfers, then it could stop Taaleritehdas and other managers from trading.

By contrast, Ari Kaaro, managing director at Seligson & Co, said that according to the information currently possessed by his firm, there would be no direct impact on its funds.

According to that information, asset management functions and payment traffic would remain outside the scope of any strike activity.

The threat of a lockout stems from a statement issued on 10 November by the Federation of Finnish Financial Services. It said that unless negotiations with employee representative unions such as Pro and YTN were successful it would recommend all its member firms initiate a lockout starting at 06.00 on Friday 25 November, lasting through to midnight on Wednesday 30 November.

The Trade Union Pro and the Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (YTN) issued their own ultimatum, threatening to strike from 06.00 on Wednesday 23 November for up to a week. About 3,000 financial sector staff would be affected, with additional rules prohibiting overtime or travel.

Effectively, if a strike and lockout are initiated, then Finland’s entire universal banking sector could grind to a halt. Local daily Hufvudstadsbladet added that banks’ IT staff could also be included in the action, making it even more difficult to predict the impact of any strike or lockout.




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