“We’re extremely happy! We have had our eye on this award over the years, as it is one of the industry’s more renowned recognitions. To be sure, we are always searching for affirmation that what we do is good, but also what is not good. Both are important for us to know so that we can be better,” comments Johan Torgeby to the magazine.
According to Privata Affärer’s Editor-in-Chief Per Hammarlund, who is also chair of the Bank of the Year jury, the main explanation for the award is that SEB – in a more cohesive manner than other banks – has a focus on start-up companies and small business owners.
He stresses among other things the bank’s SEBx and UNQUO initiatives, which are simplifying daily life for solopreneurs. He also points to SEB’s network of export companies, which are helping small business owners scale up and grow, including Greenhouse Partners, Result, Keiretsu Forum, Pepins, Gateway and Spotlight Stock Market.
Fredrik Lindberg, editor-in-chief of Privata Affärer’s investment guide publication (Placeringguiden), who is also a member of the jury, also emphasises the bank’s role as a hub for industrial development and enterprise.
“New demands to open up the bank’s contact interface are making it possible to create new constellations of partnerships for entrepreneurs’ practical needs, financing and expertise. This is a perfect fit with SEB’s entrepreneurial heart and soul, which the bank is successfully putting into practice with a broad palette of tools,” he said.
In Privata Affärer’s article announcing the winner, Johan Torgeby was asked what SEB will do to retain its lead over other banks.
“We are focusing a lot on future-proofing the bank, and toward this end both sustainability and digitalisation are extremely important areas,” comments Johan Torgeby. “We will continue to create value for our customers, just so that we can be an even better bank.”
What does this award mean? We ask Jonas Svärling, co-head of Retail Sweden in the Corporate & Private Customers division:
“It’s gratifying to see that all our efforts have generated results. A lot of people have been working very hard in various parts of the bank, so it is extra rewarding to receive such a distinction. Sometimes we may have a tendency to think we are not as good as we really are. This award gives us self-confidence going forward so that we can win more business and gain more customers.”
What are you most proud of in 2021?
“All the employees who have made a difference over the past two years. We have delivered record results and have never had a higher push for business at the same time that we have been in the midst of a pandemic, which has been extra challenging for those working from the office and other central locations.”
What is the most exciting news that we can expect to see next year?
“We continue to focus on sustainability and digitalisation,” says Jonas Svärling. “More exciting things will be coming in both areas. At the start of next year we in the bank and division will roll out the new business plan – a plan that breathes the future and includes lots of new initiatives.”