Swedish bank Handelsbanken moves into Ipswich home

A Swedish bank has taken up a permanent home in the heart of Ipswich’s business hub.

Handelsbanken, which has been expanding rapidly across the UK in recent years, has opened a branch at Grafton House, the home of Ipswich Borough Council, in Russell Road, Ipswich.

The bank, which originally came to Britain in 1982, operated for about a year in Ipswich from temporary premises in St Nicholas Street.

The banking group was originally founded in Stockholm in 1871 and has grown to 700 branches in 22 countries. It announced that it would be opening 22 new branches across the UK this year, taking the total here to 100.

Ipswich branch manager Mike Olding said: “British customers, both individuals and businesses, seem to appreciate our style of banking, which concentrates on building personal relationships through dedicated account managers, and making decisions at local level.

“Our move to Ipswich will allow us to reach a part of the East of England where we are so far under-represented.”

Grafton House is close to the Suffolk County Council offices at Endeavour House and Constantine House and the Crown Court building. Handelsbanken’s new branch comprises prominent corner premises at the front of the ground floor.

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Alistair Mitchell, partner and head of Fenn Wright’s commercial division in Ipswich, which helped Handelsbanken to acquire the site, said: “We are delighted to have been able to assist with Handelsbanken continued expansion and to have negotiated the successful acquisition of their premises. I am sure that this innovative move will prove to be popular with both their private and commercial customers”.