reede, mai 23, 2008

swedification

Is there a former Swedish empire? I would like to think yes. I would like to think that the Swedes have managed to pull their heads out of their rocky archipelago and are now involved in an scheme to regain their sphere of influence, and then the world, one Ikea at a time.

And why wouldn't someone who was pro-Estonia welcome such a development? Ask yourself this, if there was an Estonian Ikea, how different would it be from the Swedish model? Would they also sell simple yet attractive wooden furniture, post-modern spatulas, and northern European jams? Would they also display iconic images of Estonian identity, like wall-to-wall images of young blond couples enjoying themselves at their summer house? I think so.

That's why I have a hard time figuring out why the decision for Hansabank to abandon its "Hansa" brand and instead use the same branding as its Stockholm-based ownership, Swedbank, leaves me feeling a little sour. The "Hansa" brand seemed to belong to all of us. We were all part of this modern Hanseatic League, writing stories about Helsinki that are published in Riga with taxes paid in Vilnius. We were equals. But no longer. Come this autumn, I can no longer go to "Hansabank". I'll have to visit "Swedbank" instead.

While the death of the Hansa ideal is indeed sad, there is good news. The possibility that the Swedes will one day soon abandon their Baltic possessions by signing a financial Treaty of Nystad with Gazprombank seems unlikely. According to Jan Lidén, president and CEO of Swedbank, the rebranding shows the company's "long-term commitment to the Baltic market."

18 kommentaari:

Andres ütles ...

Of course they want long term commitment. After all they need to get the money back from the poor guys they lended it to. One court case at a time. And that needs not only tremendous finances (which they obviously have) but also time.

I think I'll switch to SEB though. Not only are they the "Neutral-named-bank-slightly-referring-to-Scandinavia" instead of the "All-your-moneys-is-belong-to-us(the Swedes, plz remember)-bank", but also Hansa's IT staff is taking a royal piss down the throat of anyone not using the Windows operating system. So, I guess it's time to show them the finger the capitalist way (moving over to the competition).

nipi ütles ...

Another argument for SEB may be that corrupted staff has left bank (hanschnmidt and his friends). Earlier I considered EÜP very risky as too tight connnections were person-oriented between state treasury, min of fin and EÜP (political risk). By now almost all linked persons went to Tallink. But who knows how many and which kind of underground mines they left there while went off.
Anyhow, if i have to chose something instead Hansa, it would not be SEB and also not Danske. What's left?

Giustino ütles ...

Nordea.

Kristopher ütles ...

Sampo is supposedly good as an challenger/upstart and sometimes comes through in the clutch. Though I just got back a car leasing quote from them, and the "komitee" looked at my data and gave me basically the same quote as Hansa did (without the cheap Hansabank in-house car insurance).

I'm going to go with one of the lcoal Estonian banks. Maybe Tartu or Maapank. Uh..yeah, never mind.

Doris ütles ...

I've noticed that the green banks behave better towards their customers than the orange banks. And the blue ones have very strange setups which don't match with anything else in the market.

also, I barely managed to keep from bursting out in laughter when my current bank in the Netherlands very proudly announced that they offer this amazing new service called internet banking... wheeeee

soundwhiz ütles ...

I think the banking experience of the end users is most important. I will readily admit that Hansa has a far better cling to it than Swedbank, but honestly, I could care less about the branding. I just want quick and efficient service and a proper Internet bank. It is for these reasons I'm switching to Hansapank from SEB after twenty years. My sweet lord, what a mess SEB is.

The Mogul ütles ...

I wish to lodge a complaint over something that happened on this blog. It occurred in the "inno ja irja" entry. I was engaging in a discourse on journalism and fair comment, which is my area of expertise, and had a number of interested listeners, when I was personally assaulted without any provocation by someone named "Instructor", apparently some sort of wild-eyed fanatic from the Schibsted-owned gay press.

He called me a clown. At least I think he did. He boasted about his clips and then he dropped an f-bomb, which was uncalled for under the circumstances. There may have been students reading.

Someone then used (read: broke into) my blogger profile to post a comment that was not mine. I was under the impression that this should not be possible? I deleted it -- and whoever it was posted it again.

This sort of thing might fly on Schibsted-owned press sites but it is unacceptably gay to me.

Until this is sorted out, I am going to boycott all future entries on Inno and Irja on both this blog and other publications.

Hirnu-Hrnx! ütles ...

Mogul, you complaint has been received and recorded. Our go-team is on the way to your location. Breathe slowly and do not try to leave your computer.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Swedbank? I wonder how that would go down in Finland... There was something in yesterday's Hesari about a bank crisis threatening the Baltic countries and that this name change would indicate that the Swedish owners will stand fast and support their subsidiary. Sounded bit flimsy to me but who knows. At least it is not some vaguely and phonily Latin sounding name that Finnish companies love.

Instructor ütles ...

Mogul, or Inno, or Irja, or some combination of the three.

You ARE clowns. That's my opinion. And since this is Gustino's blog, I have no probably with him deciding if I step over the line or not on his site.

I do think it's pretty damn funny, though, that people that write about the sex lives of private individuals get their feelings bruised so easily.

And no, I didn't hack into your account. I've got better things to do. And I wouldn't know how to do it anyway.

Giustino ütles ...

Mogul and Instructor,

I have no opinion of your dialog on this blog. You may continue as you see fit.

Giustino

Giustino ütles ...

There was something in yesterday's Hesari about a bank crisis threatening the Baltic countries and that this name change would indicate that the Swedish owners will stand fast and support their subsidiary.

Hansapank has been in Swedish hands for a decade. It's not a hit and run investment.

The Mogul ütles ...

And no, I didn't hack into your account. I've got better things to do. And I wouldn't know how to do it anyway.

OK, I believe you. I also reinstate the job offer.

Because it turns out the person who was responsible for hacking into my account was former Bush speechwriter William McGurn, who also hacked into the Instructor's account to post the graf starting "It is well not to be afraid of being different...rebels without a cause".

To think I was that close to accusing the Instructor of plagiarism.

This shows all too painfully that the Bushies will stop at nothing to get their message across. I had a similar incident with Gerson before he ended up defecting and working for me. This is another reason why YOU should work for me, Instructor. Your good name and credibility is being destroyed by Schibsted AND Rove's altar boys.

Here is the comment and here is the original address. Link to Bill's confession shortly.

peedu ütles ...

About the swedbank. I like name Hansa, but don't really care about branding much. Potato - potatho :)
If anything I'm glad they finally came out of the closet, I mean we all knew Hansa was owned by the sweds before.

They still have the best internet system and most up-to-date service and that's all I care for.
Can't stand SEB at all and unfortunately Nordea will soon change to full Java-based internet system, which caused lots of problems and days of delays in Finland some time ago.

By the way Giustino, in the last couple of weeks I read through your whole blog, it's been an amazing read!

Alex ütles ...

One more step towards full Nordicification.

Maybe Estonia will seem less of a scary Eastern European outpost if we call the bank Swedbank. "Hey Sven, lets holiday in Estonia, they have Swedbank, so it must be ok there now!"

Might as well change the name of Saku beer, Kalev candy and all the rest as nothing in Estonia is owned by Estonians anymore anyway.

Giustino ütles ...

By the way Giustino, in the last couple of weeks I read through your whole blog, it's been an amazing read!

Thanks, Peedu.

Might as well change the name of Saku beer, Kalev candy and all the rest as nothing in Estonia is owned by Estonians anymore anyway.

Saku and Kalev are nordic brands, though. Saku is a Finnish personal name, and Kalev is associated with the Kalevala. Rest assured, eestlased, {some of} your brands are secure.

Mads Michael ütles ...

Hansapank is one of the strongest brands in Estonia, and probably the only real Pan-Baltic brand at all. So to me it seems quite strange that the owner just kills it. Using Swedbank under the name as is currently done would probably be sufficient to inform all people who don't know it already who the owner is. When you have a strong brand why risk ? Volvo hasn't been renamed to Ford, although they are since long owner of this icon of Swedish industry. And I do agree with some of the other comments that Swedbank might not be the best brand to use internationally. In my native country, Denmark, the name is ridiculed because its meaning in Danish (if you substitute w with v) is "Sweatbank" :-)
As Peedu I would like to complement Giustino on this interesting blog that I've followed for some time now. I'm an estophile Dane living in Tallinn for 10+ years.

Mads Michael (btw I liked your "taxi names" topic, I often estonianize my name to either Madis or Mihkel.)

Jonas ütles ...

Saku and Kalev are nordic brands, though
Trying getting a Swede, Norwegian or Icelander to agree with that. Sadly, I'm afraid Finnish and Estonian may as well be Japanese to the vast majority in the Nordic region. That's one of the strengths of learning Swedish in Finland's schools, they can read the media in the other Nordic countries and it generally makes our position in the Nordic countries easier to fulfil.

As for Swedbank, the name change wasn't exactly popular in the home market either. The initial adverts even had to tell people how to pronounce it... i.e. not as in English's word 'Swede'. I am sure some Swedish lefties are still not over the last name change.