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A Blueprint for Better Banking: Svenska Handelsbanken and a proven model for more stable and profitable banking by Niels Kroner

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4: History

Svenska Handelsbanken was founded, under the name of Stockholms Handelsbank, in 1871 by a group of directors of Wallenberg’s Stockholms Enskilda Bank who had left after conflict with the strong willed managing director. It was the bank of Stockholm’s merchants, who both owned the shares and used its services. Despite having only a handful of staff it had relationships with other banks in Hamburg, Altona, London, and Paris. The bank remained relatively small for 22 years until Louis Fraenckel, a banker of German extraction, became managing director in 1893 and pushed the bank to grow rapidly.

Interestingly, Fraenckel held views that would not sound alien to the current management. For instance he had an international outlook (sending ...

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