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SEB: Swedish Banking Giant

October 27, 2015

SEB (Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB) operates in the banking industry. Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, the bank generates sales in excess of $11 billion and has approximately 16,742 employees.

In 1856, André Oscar Wallenberg founded Stockholms Enskilda Bank. I was Stockholm’s first private bank and one of the first commercial banks in Sweden. André is reportedly the country’s first venture capitalist. Another bank was founded years later which would eventually become part of SEB. Skandinaviska Kreditaktiebolaget was founded in 1864 by Danish financier Carl Fredrik Tietgen, in cooperation with André Oscar Wallenberg. The new bank competed directly with Stockholms Enskilda Bank.

Spanning a decade, from 1910 to 1920 the demand for capital increased and Skandinaviska Kreditaktiebolaget goes on acquisition mode acquiring a number of banks eventually becoming the largest commercial bank in Sweden. Meanwhile, in 1915 Stockholms Enskilda Bank transfers its head office to Kungsträdgådsgatan in Stockholm.

The decade 1930 to 1940 was not a good one for Skandinaviska Kreditaktiebolaget as it experienced heavy losses due to the international recession and the crash of the Kreuger. The state stepped in and infused the bank with 215 million kronor in loans; it took the bank four years to repay the money. The bank subsequently changed its name to Skandinaviska Banken.

In 1972, Stockholms Enskilda Bank and Skandinaviska Banken merged and became Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken. One of the main reasons for the move is to better face the growing competition from major international banks.

In the 1980s the Swedish economy began to overheat and by the beginning of the 1990s caused a severe economic crisis.  S-E-Banken experienced huge losses but managed to survive without state support. S-E-Banken was one of the first banks in the world to launch a complete internet bank for private clients. In 1998, the bank changed its name to SEB.

The following decades would see the bank expand internationally and is now more focused on the Nordic region.

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