* Nordea says could move HQ from Sweden
* Comments regard resolution fund fee proposal
* Swedish finance minister defends proposal (Adds finance minister comments)
STOCKHOLM, March 14 (Reuters) - Nordea may move its headquarters from Sweden if the government adopts a proposal to raise the fees lenders pay to the country’s resolution fund, the bank’s chief executive told business daily Dagens Industri (DI) on Tuesday.
The government last month said it had abandoned a proposal for a payroll tax for financial services, commonly known as a bank tax.
Instead it said it would raise the fee banks pay to the resolution fund - money that is available to bail out failing banks.
CEO Casper von Koskull said the bank - the Nordic region’s biggest - had told the Swedish government it was considering a relocation of its headquarters.
“The resolution fee makes it impossible for us to say we have the same rules in Sweden as in the rest of Europe. Of course we need to consider and examine the alternatives,” he told DI.
Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson defended the proposal, saying Nordea’s large profits and increased risks to Swedish taxpayers following the bank’s reorganisation demanded a higher resolution fund fee.
Nordea has a new legal structure from the start of 2017, changing its subsidiary banks in Denmark, Finland and Norway to branches of the Swedish parent company.
“That also means that the risks for Sweden increase,” Andersson told news agency TT.
The government has long sought to impose a financial services tax, saying the sector - which is exempt from value-added tax - is doing well and should pay more to the state. (Reporting by Helena Soderpalm and Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)