Financial sector climbs aboard
The financial sector has long been reticent about outsourcing internal functions and services. But SEB bank has decided to go against the flow.
Factors such as security requirements, special regulations for companies in the financial sector and, in many cases, a conservative approach, are the main reasons why banks have been less willing to outsource their functions and services.
“SEB previously outsourced parts of its service to several different parties. Thanks to our new co-operation with Coor we now have one partner who works in an integrated way with FM services,” says Jan Edgren, Head Group Real Estate at SEB.
Above all, SEB was looking for a partner that could assume overall function-based responsibility for the services, drive the operation forward and develop the services. Another objective was a standardised description of the services to enable a comparison of the effect on various areas.
Today all property-related and workplace services are outsourced to Coor. The assignment is a function order, which means SEB buys services as required.
“We are striving to be the best in class for internal service. Naturally another important goal is to reduce costs without compromising on quality. Here we can benefit from Coor’s buying power, for instance, an area where Coor is very strong,” says Jan Edgren.
Traditionally the financial sector has employed its own personnel for operational support services. According to Jan Edgren the concept of integrated FM services is uncommon in the sector.
“In other sectors outsourcing of services is common, but the financial sector has traditionally been more conservative. Moreover, purchased services are subject to VAT, which places tough demands on streamlining for this to be an economical option.”
Jan Edgren thinks the decision to outsource service with an external player was a major adjustment for SEB. Partly because it was done on a large scale, and because the operation is spread over so many sites.
“This has been a big change for SEB. The work involved in merely getting all the service descriptions in place was considerable”.
SEB is a North European financial group serving some 400,000 corporate customers and institutions and five million private individuals. SEB has local presence in the Nordic and Baltic countries, Germany, Ukraine and Russia, and a global presence through its international network in another ten countries. On 31 December 2007, the Group’s total assets amounted to SEK 2,344 billion while its assets under management totalled SEK 1,370 billion. The Group has about 20,000 employees.
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