Awards for excellence - Regional - Nordic/Baltic region
Svenska Handelsbanken leads the way as the domestic banks come storming back in the Nordic and Baltic regions. ABN AMRO dominates in debt. Jonathan Brown
Best debt house:
Best equity house:
Best M&A house:
Best at risk management and treasury:
Best at transaction services:
Two themes dominate banking in the Nordic and Baltic region - cross-border expansion and technological innovation. Over the past decade, the leading players in the Nordic countries have sought to expand their operations throughout the region, as illustrated by a series of cross-border acquisitions by such banks as Nordea, Svenska Handelsbanken and SEB.
With the Nordic regional banking sector now dominated by these three, attention has turned to the Baltic states as the emerging battleground. Swedbank now has a majority holding in Estonia's Hansa Bank, Skandinavska Enskilda Banken (SEB) increased its stake in Lithuania's Vilniaus Banka to almost 98% in late 2000, and Merita (Nordea) and Handelsbanken have ventured into the Estonian banking sector.
These banks have been renowned for their use of internet technology to fight the battle for new customers and increased revenue. It is hardly surprising that the Nordic banks have set the pace in applying new technology to banking, given the region's well-known facility in this area.