30 Nov 2020 06:00

SEB ranked as the leading corporate bank in the Nordics

For the first time since 2014 SEB earned a number one ranking in the Nordic countries when large corporates rated their banks in Prospera’s latest customer survey. SEB improved its overall score and is ranked at the top with respect to service mindedness, strategic advice, sustainability support and support during the corona pandemic, among other areas.

“We have worked hard to be close to our customers and support them during this exceptional year. It is gratifying that they feel that we have been able to deliver faster and with better quality than many others,” says William Paus, co-head of SEB’s Large Corporates & Financial Institutions division.

Prospera’s Corporate Banking 2020 survey was conducted between 2 September and 13 November and is based on interviews with 324 companies, of which nearly half have annual sales of more than EUR 1.5bn (Tier 1), and the remainder with sales of between EUR 500m and EUR 1.5bn (Tier 2).

This year SEB was ranked at the top in both segments and thereby at the top in both tiers overall. (Last year SEB was ranked as the best in Tier 1, but number two overall.) SEB’s total score this year rose from 4.08 to 4.20.

Mats Holmström, head of Corporate Banking, is happy with the positive rating.

“I am proud and humbled by the trust that customers express and hope that it is a confirmation that we are on the right path. I am grateful that customers have taken the time to share their views, which provides valuable insights for the work ahead.”

What do you think the improvement is due to?

“I am proud of our employees, who have really done their utmost to show that we are there for our customers even in tough times. This is truly a special year and we realized that we needed to adapt our decision-making processes to speed up decisions and enable proactivity towards customers. We have become better at tailoring our advice and our service to different types of customers with different needs. We have also made an effort to become even better at serving so called Tier-2 companies, i.e. companies with sales of between EUR 500m and EUR 1.5bn.

”I am glad that we have improved our scores in all countries in both segments. Of course, it is extra fun that we have advanced to the first place in Norway and safeguarded our top rank in Sweden, while the improvement unfortunately does not show in the ranking in Denmark and Finland since the competitors have not stood still either.

Overall performance

Looking at the overall performance category, SEB was ranked as number one. Of the ten sub-factors that were ranked, the bank earned the top score in eight, including service minded, financial competence, coordinated offering & specialists, strategic advice & customised solutions, proactivity, and quick decisions.

“It is really gratifying to see that we made great improvements compared with 2019, such as regarding fast decisions, where we advanced from fourth to first place, and regarding service, where we went from third to first place,” Holmström notes.

Financial services and the bank as a whole

In the area of financial services SEB scored number one in lending, trade finance and corporate finance. In the area that focuses on the bank as a whole, SEB was ranked as number one for commitment, strong brand and sustainability support among others.

The 2020 survey also included a new question about the banks’ support during the corona pandemic. Here, too, SEB earned a top score of 4.30.

Now that SEB is ranked at the top in the Nordic countries, how can we further improve ourselves?

“It is fantastic that we have reached the position as the most valued bank among the customers. But we have strong competitors and we cannot rest on our laurels. We must continue to work hard to strengthen the long-term partnership with customers through value-creating advice and products,” says Mats Holmström.