HELSINKI — The Nordic region’s largest bank says it plans to cut at least 6,000 jobs over the next four years to stay competitive as its retail banking operations are increasingly becoming digital and automation hits the financial industry more broadly.

CEO Casper von Koskull of Nordea Bank AB said Thursday the decision to cut nearly 20 percent of the bank’s total staff of 32,000 is “not a cost-cutting exercise” but a transformation as the bank becomes more digital.

Nordea, which has in recent years invested heavily in technology, said automation and digitalization mean it will shed some 4,000 employees and 2,000 consultant jobs by the end of 2021.

The cuts are spread across its home markets of Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, where it has in total over 11 million clients.

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