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Handelsbanken: where facilities are still agreed in branch

Theo Osborn | 09:00 Wednesday 13th March 2019

Some 90% of Handelsbanken’s facilities are agreed at branch level, according to Andrew Rowlands, branch manager at Handelsbanken Marylebone.

In an exclusive interview with Specialist Banking, Andrew stated that although this figure would be lower in central London, it is “unheard of” in banking today.

“It’s where banking was 20 years ago, where you’d have the branch manager [in a] high street [bank] and you’d shake hands and say, ‘Yes, the money’s there.’

“And we can still do that.”

Each branch has its own lending discretion, with all the analysis done there. 

However, there are ceilings — which differ from branch to branch — and anything above that will go to the regional credit team.

Nonetheless, in the five-and-a-half years that Andrew has spent at the bank, he claimed that he had “never” had a proposal declined.

“…We are selective in what we report ourselves anyway, so we’re very well synchronised between the branches and the credit team,” he added.

Andrew explained that the customers that it tended to attract usually had more than one source of income and a more complicated income profile.

“…If you bring in a limited company, if you bring in another source of income, and you have multiple income sources, that then becomes more of a challenge to the high street banks, especially if [the loan is] over £2m.

“That’s where we win out, where the high street banks don’t have the desire or the capability to do those sorts of deals.”

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