Visited the Sparbanken i Enköping and was met by Branch Manager Rotarian Peter Asplund. He introduced me to the CEO. Sparbanken started in 1835 (before SA was colonised) and has just celebrated its 175th year. It is a local community bank with four branches Enköping, Balsta, Bro and Kungsangen which are within 40 Km and about 80km from Stockholm. How does a small community Bank survive in the electronic age?
By forming an alliance with 60 other savings Banks and using a listed company called Swedbank for all its IT, credit card, Insurance and capitalisation needs. Sparbanken i Enköping has strict lending guidelines and will lend personally and to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) to try and avoid over exposure and risk problems (ie State Bank of SA). As a community bank it is run by a board elected by about a group of 50 customers. The board in turn appoints the CEO. It employs 109 people with head office in Enköping. Enköping is only 40 minutes by train to Stockholm so the area’s housing market is expanding as it is a cheaper option than closer to Stockholm.
Did you know the adjustable spanner was invented in Enköping in 1892 and the BAHCO
company (also known as Sandvik) made the spanner in Enköpings? Unfortunately for the area the American company Snap-On Inc acquired BAHCO and the factory operations moved to Spain about 4 years ago leaving many people in the area out of work. The local Kommun responded by releasing industrial land and there are a number of industries establishing themselves on the cheaper land including a couple of large distribution
warehouses including ICA one of the largest supermarket chains in Sweden. Since
1/3 of Sweden’s population is within 100km of Enköping the town area is set to
expand offering more opportunities for Sparbanken i Enköping. The bank grants sporting scholarships to many individuals and clubs. It has given one to an 18 year old female golfer who is set to turn professional and perhaps rival famous Swedish golfer Annika Sörenstam, who came from Balsta where we did a presentation on Monday. On that theme we lunched at the golf club and visited the local industrial sites and expanding industries. Thank you Peter. The day finished with another visit to the golf course – this
time to play the temping fairways viewed over lunch with a couple of Rotarians
Lars and Peter from Värfru club. We hit off at 6pm and completed the last putt at
9:55pm with little light to spare.