BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions (BPLS) has geared up for expansion in the Nordics following the incorporation of Landkreditt Finans as its branch in Norway and the appointment of a chief executive for the region.

The acquisition of Norwegian bank Landkreditt’s leasing arm was first agreed in February, and completed early last month. The entity has been renamed to BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions Norway, and continues to be headed by chief executive Arne Oseberg.

The French lessor now plans to have a sales team in every Scandinavian country by 2020, supported by the Norwegian hub, sharing back-office resources.

The former Landkreditt Finans team will remain in Ålesund, on Norway’s west coast, while a new Oslo team led by Fabrice Perret will coordinate the wider Nordics expansion.

Perret, a 24-year BNP Paribas veteran, was previously director and strategy and development in Paris, and oversaw the lessor’s expansion in a number of countries over the years, including the acquisition of Turkish Bank TEB’s fleet and leasing subsidiaries.

“We are delighted to have joined BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions, said Oseberg. “Our teams can continue to work locally for our clients and partners while benefitting from the support of the leading European leasing provider with a presence in 17 other countries.”

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By GlobalData

The acquisition of Landkreditt Finans followed on from the opening of an Arval subsidiary in Oslo in November, targeting 2,000 managed vehicles by 2020.

Leasing Solutions’ expansion to Norway brings the lessor’s total countries of operation to 18. The French company will find itself competing in the region with native players such as DNB, Nordea, Handelsbanken, SpareBank 1 and Danske Bank, as well as captives and international groups.

New leasing business in Norway grew 14% to NOK 61.7bn (£5.8bn, €6.4bn) between 2016 and 2017, according to national leasing association FINFO. Norwegian leasing companies accounted for some 12% of total credit (including factoring and consumer vehicle finance).