IT is not every day that the CEO of one of the world’s strongest banks visits Peterborough.
Julian Turner, branch manager of Handelsbanken in Peterborough, and his team at Lynch Wood hosted a visit by group CEO Pär Boman who, accompanied by Anders Bouvin, chief executive of Handelsbanken in the UK, is in the country to celebrate the opening of Handelsbanken’s 100th UK branch.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to host Pär and Anders at the branch and also introduce them to Stephen Smith, MD of Tesam Distribution Limited, which recently moved its banking business to us,” said Julian.
“It is a momentous occasion for Handelsbanken in the UK and it is great that Pär and Anders were able to incorporate a visit to Peterborough to witness at first hand what we are achieving locally as a branch to contribute to Handelsbanken’s growing success.”
Handelsbanken has built its success around a unique combination of decentralisation, customer satisfaction, and prudent financial management. An independent survey of British bank customers has ranked Handelsbanken number one for satisfaction and loyalty among both business and personal customers for the second year running. This is a position the Bank has enjoyed in Sweden since surveys began in 1989.
Julian said: “Core to our growth has been satisfied customers and a preference for what is often referred to as ‘traditional banking’. For us it’s nothing new, the bank has been run on the same principle of decentralisation for the last 40 years.
“My team makes their own case-by-case assessments and is empowered to make decisions here at the branch, from corporate credit lines to tailored saving and borrowing rates. Equally important, they are able to serve our customers locally, without customers having to refer to call centres. We know our people and patch best, with head office there to support us. We always take a long-term view, investing time with our customers and focus on the needs of the individual and not on the sale of specific products.”
Despite the continuing economic downturn, Handelsbanken last year opened a record 27 UK branches, leading to the establishment of a third regional head office in Birmingham to support further expansion in Great Britain, its fastest growing market.
Speaking ahead of a series of regional events to celebrate the 100th branch opening, Anders said: “This milestone has been reached thanks to the confidence that our customers have shown and by us sticking to what we know best, offering traditional community banking based on close personal relationships with customers.”