Tunbridge Wells, Kent (PRWEB UK) 24 November 2011
Handelsbanken, which has had a branch in Tunbridge Wells for 2 and a half years, emerged head and shoulders above its UK high street competitors, both for satisfaction and loyalty in a recent survey conducted by EPSI Rating. This is a position the 140-year-old bank has enjoyed in its home country of Sweden for more than 20 years.
The survey confirms that Handelsbanken has managed to increase overall customer satisfaction during another record year of UK expansion. Indeed, since the financial crisis began three years ago, the bank has almost doubled its British branch network which, as well as the Tunbridge Wells branch, now serves individual and corporate customers in 112 other communities across the country.
“Our experienced local team has real power to listen to a customer’s needs, use their initiative and local knowledge and make decisions for long-term mutual benefit,” says Nick Green, branch manager of Handelsbanken Tunbridge Wells. “We do not have sales targets or receive performance bonuses which could distort this focus. Nor do we operate credit-scoring or remote call centres, because our customers have never asked for them.”
The bank operates around 750 branches in 22 countries worldwide, with the UK representing its fastest-growing market. Around two-thirds of the bank’s 900 UK staff are employed in branches, reflecting Handelsbanken’s strongly decentralised operating model.
Explains Professor Jan Eklof of EPSI Rating, which co-ordinates the benchmark survey across 17 countries: “Customer satisfaction with Handelsbanken has been consistently higher than its British High Street competitors. But more striking is the even higher level of customer loyalty the bank attracts, which is a harder result for any organisation to achieve.”
Handelsbanken recently published its latest (Q3) financial results. They reaffirm the bank’s exceptionally strong capital and liquidity positions and its low credit loss ratios, which have earned it among the highest credit ratings of any international bank.
“For us, the branch is the bank, and we are committed to continue expanding in the UK, customer by customer and branch by branch,” says Anders Bouvin, Handelsbanken’s UK chief executive. “Each branch is able to draw on the strong credit ratings and stable finances of one of Europe’s 25 largest banks, recently rated one of the world’s strongest by Bloomberg**.”
He continues: “This mix of local decision-making and global financial strength is proving attractive to increasing numbers of financially prudent customers across the UK, some of whom have begun to feel disillusioned with their existing bank.”
Notes to Editors:
- EPSI Rating (Extended Performance Satisfaction Index) is a system created to collect, analyse and disseminate information about how an organisation is perceived by its stakeholders. The assessment is done in terms of image, preferences and perceived quality as well as loyalty and attractiveness by customers, employees and other interested parties. With a system of databases including more than 70,000 indices derived from some 2 million interviews taken during surveys in numerous country studies over almost two decades, ESPI Rating is the European leader in stakeholder management and benchmarking. For more information on EPSI Rating visit http://www.epsi-rating.com
- Handelsbanken first came to the UK in 1982 to cater for Nordic businesses and their British subsidiaries, but quickly realised the potential to provide universal banking services locally. The branch network that has followed is one of the most successful branch banking operations set up outside of the High Street banks.
- Handelsbanken is the UK trading name of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), one of Sweden’s leading banks, with around 750 branches in 22 countries, and more than 11,000 employees.
- Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ) was established 140 years ago. Today, Handelsbanken manages a decentralised network of 113 branches across the UK, with further expansion ongoing.
- Handelsbanken specialises in providing highly personalised and competitive banking services to both businesses and individuals.
- Each branch operates as a small business enabling it to make decisions at a local level and provide a service that is truly bespoke. The focus is always on the need of the individual customer and not on the sale of specific products, hence the bank does not offer its branch staff bonuses.
- Handelsbanken is rated Aa2 (Source: Moody’s, October 2011).
For more information on this media release, please contact Angela Ward on: 01825 765617 or by email: angela(at)themarketingeye(dot)com