SEB seeks European scale
Lars Thunell, president of SEB, in which Investor has a large stake, explains its strategy
What prompted your merger with ForeningsSparbanken?
Our merger with ForeningsSparbanken will allow us to become stronger in our home market and give us the base for international expansion. Prior to the merger we stood no higher than forty fifth in terms of market capitalization among all European banks and that was much too low. With the merger, we rise to number twenty five, a much better position. With the merger, we will have also created a Nordic player that will participate in the restructuring of the European banking scene.
These two banks complement each other. They are strong in the retail sector and have a big volume of business in the standard products area.
One key benefit will be the opportunity to increase our business in the private customer area. These clients comprise some 40% of our customers. They only make up 20% of the customers of ForeningsSparbanken: but in absolute numbers they have more than us.