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Euromoney FX survey 2010: Scandinavian banks advance in institutional FX

SEB, Danske and Handelsbanken rank in the most improved banks, writes Trevor Carr.

SWEDEN’S SEB AND Svenska Handelsbanken, and Denmark’s Danske Bank all featured in the Euromoney FX survey’s top-10 most improved by market share list. The Nordic banks generally made gains in market share with institutional clients. All three banks stressed the importance of providing "client service of the highest quality throughout the crisis", as Niklas Karlsson, Danske’s global head of FX spot, options and emerging markets, put it. This has stood the banks in good stead as, post-crisis, clients re-evaluate their liquidity providers.

Scandinavian banks, despite their exposure in many cases to the troubled economies of the Baltic States, have survived the financial crisis in relatively good shape.

Sweden’s SEB is the stand-out performer among the region’s banks. It breaks into the top 20 for the first time. Its overall market share has increased by close to 50%, the fourth-biggest single rise. And the bank has transformed its position in FX trading with banks, increasing its market share by a whopping 235% on last year.

SEB’s strategy has been to grow across all client segments in its northern European home markets and selectively with financial institutions and banks globally. Joachim Alpen, the bank’s head of FX, says: "We have always had a strong market-leading position in Sweden and in the last few years we have put a lot of focus and effort into strengthening our position in the rest of the Nordics.

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