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Leithen

Original Poster:

3,451 posts

152 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Has anyone had any experience of the Swedish Bank, Handelsbanken, here in the UK?

RicksAlfas

6,142 posts

129 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
I haven't, but I'm seeing their name more and more on suppliers statements and invoices so they must be doing or offering something good.

joewilliams

2,004 posts

86 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Yes. Very positive. A consistent account manager who actually understands our business and has the power to make decisions.

LooneyTunes

3,475 posts

43 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Yes - very poor.

Post account opening follow-up very poor (virtually non-existent).
1st card didn't arrive from Finland - took a couple of weeks for replacement.
Internet banking very complex to set up and not good if you use multiple machines.
Initially wanted FULL personal asset/liabilities statement to set up a small overdraft (already deposited many the sum requested in a linked account).
Seemed reticent about even discussing mortgages... in spite of talking very low multiples and LTV.

Gave them six months to try and get their act together then closed the accounts.

Given the way they work, I think a lot is to do with individual teams, so general feedback might not be too useful. Also check that you're happy with them "passporting" into the UK, rather than being part of the UK's deposit protection schemes.

Davel

7,594 posts

143 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Moved to them about 2 months ago and excellent service so far.

There were some teething problems with on-line banking but these have been sorted as they changed their system somehow.

Very happy to have moved to them from RBS!
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groak

3,254 posts

64 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Davel said:
Moved to them about 2 months ago and excellent service so far.

There were some teething problems with on-line banking but these have been sorted as they changed their system somehow.

Very happy to have moved to them from RBS!
My ex-'manager' who was the head of corporate at RBS in West of Scotland moved to them in 2009 in a temper after 33 years at RBS. He was an excellent banker and all reports locally are that it's a great bank to deal with. Unfortunately it's branchless, so cash-heavy businesses can't really use it.

But they've taken business hand over fist from the usual names here. Probably business people just like you.

Digga

13,491 posts

168 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Leithen said:
Has anyone had any experience of the Swedish Bank, Handelsbanken, here in the UK?
Yes, see here: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

The PH search function is an arse to use, so I realise it might not have been easy to locate.

3Dee

3,155 posts

106 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
The impression I am getting is that they are very very piccy on who they take on, much more so that a high street bank, is that the case?

What is a the general criteria for a very small business with perhaps an overdraft, a business loan, but conducts their banking impeccably and always has done? I would move in a heart-beat....

I am franky totally peed of with High street banks, Barclays in particular. You never see a so-called Account manager from one year to the next. They don't seem in the slightest bit interested in how you are doing, especially if you are no trouble to them, and when you want anything at all, they huff and puff and kick it upstairs to some faceless plonker who has absolutely no understanding of your business!

...and you get through that hoop, then they are slow...oh so slow, so slow that they almost always breach their own SLAs by a wide mile...with excuse after excuse!

Oh for a better bank.....

Davel

7,594 posts

143 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Yes they are rather choosey and can afford to be, as more and more people are becoming disgruntled with their banks.

Whilst they are relatively branchless to a degree they are opening more branches all the time - one every ten days, I understand.

In the meantime they can arrange a facility near to you for cashing cheques or paying in cheques/cash.

Good god - I sound like an advert!

Manks

7,623 posts

107 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
It depends upon your local Handelsbanken node. Each is to some degree autonomous and has its own patch. If they don't like you, or what you do, you aren't going to be doing business with Handelsbanken. You cannot deal with a branch out your area, even if they are more bullish about your line of business.

I know our local people and they are a bit hard work to be honest. Even if they wanted to work with our business, and when I last spoke with them they didn't, we probably wouldn't use them. Their terms are not particularly competitive and the staff, as I have mentioned, are not scintilating.

We had a particularly crap manager at HSBC and she has now turned up at Handelsbanken locally. Which reinforces my view of them to be honest.

Leithen

Original Poster:

3,451 posts

152 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Digga said:
Yes, see here: http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?h=0&a...

The PH search function is an arse to use, so I realise it might not have been easy to locate.
Yep, tried the search but it turned up Zilch.

Leithen

Original Poster:

3,451 posts

152 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Thanks for the feedback everyone - sadly our rather good relationship with RBS has been buggered up by their policy of centralising all decision making - up until a few years ago our local manager had the ability to deal with all our needs. Now he's effectively been neutered. I'm looking to repackage and consolidate various different loans and I'm damned if I'm going to have to try and explain myself and our business to some desk jockey in Manchester if I can help it.

Inkyfingers

1,320 posts

114 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
My dad and I have been in discussions with Handelsbanken regarding a mortgage, though it looks as though we won't need to go ahead with the mortgage now.

What I will say is that they are very keen for business, though I think they are quite selective.

We came to them via a contact who used to work at Natwest. My company banks with Natwest and we have had 5 "relationship managers" in 3 years. Luckily we don't have a huge need for dedicated service.

We also approached Natwest regarding the above mortgage and Natwest wouldn't even consider it due to my dad's age (mid 60s), despite the fact that the amount being borrowed was only 20% of the value of the house he was borrowing against and he has no other borrowings and lots of other assets. If Natwest won't lend to somebody like that then frankly they may as well give up banking.


Digga

13,491 posts

168 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Leithen said:
Thanks for the feedback everyone - sadly our rather good relationship with RBS has been buggered up by their policy of centralising all decision making - up until a few years ago our local manager had the ability to deal with all our needs. Now he's effectively been neutered. I'm looking to repackage and consolidate various different loans and I'm damned if I'm going to have to try and explain myself and our business to some desk jockey in Manchester if I can help it.
If you want to talk to decision makers and have a sensible conversation, Handelsbanken are excellnt.

They will, these days (apparently the norm post GFC) want to scrutinise both the business and the owners, but if you meet their criteria, they are good to work with. Bear in mind that, as evidenced by the rapid branch expansion, they're very busy - so don't assume a small wait to get an appointment as a slight - but are investing in the resources to meet demand.

insurance_jon

2,740 posts

131 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
We use them a lot. They are picky as I've tried getting some clients in there, and they declined them, but that makes me feel safer about banking with them.

You get an account manager who is allowed to make his own decisions which is a rare thing.

The downside is the personal internet banking which is machine specific, however the corporate one is now the same as "other banks" and uses a card reader.

ironically the newer customers are getting the card reader first.

TIf you need to pay cash in this is done via branches of Nat West or HSBC IIRC

Redarress

388 posts

92 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Manks said:
It depends upon your local Handelsbanken node. Each is to some degree autonomous and has its own patch. If they don't like you, or what you do, you aren't going to be doing business with Handelsbanken. You cannot deal with a branch out your area, even if they are more bullish about your line of business.

I know our local people and they are a bit hard work to be honest. Even if they wanted to work with our business, and when I last spoke with them they didn't, we probably wouldn't use them. Their terms are not particularly competitive and the staff, as I have mentioned, are not scintilating.

We had a particularly crap manager at HSBC and she has now turned up at Handelsbanken locally. Which reinforces my view of them to be honest.
Manks are talking about Northampton branch ?

Manks

7,623 posts

107 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
Redarress said:
Manks are talking about Northampton branch ?
No, but Midlands.

LooneyTunes

3,475 posts

43 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
insurance_jon said:
TIf you need to pay cash in this is done via branches of Nat West or HSBC IIRC
NatWest - but you can't use the automated paying in machines and sometimes the non-NatWest paying in book confuses them.

Digga

13,491 posts

168 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Manks said:
Redarress said:
Manks are talking about Northampton branch ?
No, but Midlands.
As you say, the managers really do have autonomy - I guess the downside is that it brings you back to the old ways of if now cowtowing, certainly ensuring you attempt to get on with your manager. Not always possible I guess.

I think the primary reason they're so strong is that the Swedish banks had their own crisis (and subsequent re-capitalisation) in the early nineties. They were way ahead of the curve in that respoect when the GFC struck.

In many ways, all they're doing IMHO is good, honest, old-fashioned banking. All the rest of the 'high street' retail banks ran headlong as a herd to shut local branches, put call centres offshore and de-humanise the decision process. Handelsbanken shows there is a real demand for comeptition and hopefully other banks will follow...

Manks

7,623 posts

107 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
Digga said:
Manks said:
Redarress said:
Manks are talking about Northampton branch ?
No, but Midlands.
As you say, the managers really do have autonomy - I guess the downside is that it brings you back to the old ways of if now cowtowing, certainly ensuring you attempt to get on with your manager. Not always possible I guess.

I think the primary reason they're so strong is that the Swedish banks had their own crisis (and subsequent re-capitalisation) in the early nineties. They were way ahead of the curve in that respoect when the GFC struck.

In many ways, all they're doing IMHO is good, honest, old-fashioned banking. All the rest of the 'high street' retail banks ran headlong as a herd to shut local branches, put call centres offshore and de-humanise the decision process. Handelsbanken shows there is a real demand for comeptition and hopefully other banks will follow...
Perhaps we are just unlucky round here, but the local lot aren't so much as cautiously prudent, more a bunch of plodders.
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