Aktia's roots date back to 1826, when Helsinki Savings Bank started its business operations. Thus, Aktia is the oldest deposit bank in Finland.
Aktia of today was born 1991 when Helsinki Savings Bank was created through a merger of eight savings banks. The following year, two further savings banks merged with Aktia in order to develop their banking business, despite the current bank crisis.
In the 1990s, Aktia opened new branches in strategic areas. The geographic expansion was strong, and approximately ten new branches opened in a few years' time. The main source of our success was the good local knowledge of our staff. Aktia also expanded through acquisitions. Aktia Fund Management Company was founded in 1992 and Sp Fund Management Company was acquired in 1993.
The first large-scale share issue was carried out in 1995. The following year, Aktia's Board of Directors proposed that a dividend be distributed to the shareholders.
In 1996, Aktia started as central financial institution for savings banks and local cooperative banks. Aktia managed the banks' domestic and foreign payments. The operations were unwound in 2013 as a result of stricter bank regulation.
Aktia's first online bank was launched in 1997, the same year Aktia Asset Management started its business operations. Aktia's first online branch started in 2000, and the following year personal services on the Internet, over the phone and through secure e-mail were provided outside regular office hours. The services provided by the online branch are integrated in the present online bank.
At the beginning of the 2000s, cooperation between the Pohjola Group and the Finnish Savings Banks' Group was discussed. Aktia chose not to participate in the proposed cooperation. Aktia left the Finnish Savings Banks' Group in 2003.
When the company Aktia Card&Finance was founded in 2005, targeted efforts were made to increase the number of card products. Card operations are now an integrated part of the bank's business. Aktia Real Estate Services was also founded in 2005.
2006 was an anniversary for Aktia. At the time, it was 180 years since the start of banking operations and 15 years since the merger of eight savings banks in the Uusimaa region under the name Aktia. Aktia Life Insurance was acquired in 2007. Kaupthing's asset management operations in Finland were acquired the following year.
In 2009, Aktia's shares were listed on Nasdaq OMX Helsinki and Veritas Mutual Non-Life Insurance Company merged with Aktia. All shareholders of the company received shares in Aktia as compensation for the merger. Aktia has approximately 50,000 shareholders.
In 2012, Aktia sold 66% of Aktia Non-Life Insurance to Folksam General and Veritas Pension Insurance. In 2013, Aktia informed of its intention to build up a new core banking system. Two savings banks, Saaristosäästöpankki and Vöyrin Säästöpankki, announced their intention to merge with Aktia.
In 2017, the bank's Board of Supervisors was abolished as a step towards simplification of the company's administration structure. As a result of increased regulatory requirements, among other things, the two-step administration model was no longer appropriate. Instead, the Board of Directors established a so-called delegation without formal legal status to strengthen Aktia's position based on the bank's long-term strategy by monitoring, developing and supporting the business operations and improving information between the bank and the interest groups the delegation members are representing.