I can’t decide if it feels like a few seconds or a lifetime ago, but I remember it very clearly. I received the email informing us that we had been granted a Swedish banking license. The result of years of dedication, relentlessness, hard work and determination. But also a story about challenges, lessons learned and tough times. Because trust me, it has not been a straight line with standing ovations every day. But in the midst of all the excitement we felt during the first hours following the positive news, and even though I was extremely humble over what we all as Northmillians had achieved, a perhaps forbidden thought crossed my mind: “This was natural. Of course, we should be granted a Swedish banking license!” I never had a doubt in my mind.
I know, I know, don't get me wrong. What I mean is that we have had a long-term perspective since day one. We have had a clear vision of what we want to achieve and how to achieve it. We know that we are doing the right things, have the right people, and an amazing culture. We knew already back in 2006, that we could start a bank as we wanted it to be. Close to people, driven by technology, and centered around the user’s experience and personal needs.
I am extremely proud of what we have managed to accomplish in just a year since we got our license, that was everything but ordinary. Since the pandemic hit the world six months ago, it has truly been extraordinary times and it has been troubling to see so many people being negatively affected. Our focus shifted fast to do all we can to support our customers, keeping our employees safe, and ensuring business continuity.
Despite these extra challenges we have managed to achieve plenty of fantastic things:
-> Reaching an average customer satisfaction ratio of over 90 percent
-> Upholding an average response time in our customer center of 41 seconds
-> Helping thousands of people lower their interest rate
-> Growing into 150 Northmillians
-> Launching 8 new products and features
-> Introducing two different savings accounts with very competitive interest rates
-> Moving from a multi-brand strategy to a single-brand strategy
-> Rebranding Northmill Bank brand to better symbolize us being a neobank and be clearer towards customers
-> Managing to grow our total portfolio despite the Covid-19 pandemic
-> Being recognized as Sweden's 4th most solid bank
The list can be made much longer. But the point is that we are just at the beginning of this partly new chapter of Northmill Bank. We aim to develop relevant and personalized banking services built on intelligence that understands our customers' needs. Inspired by social media and personal banking, we aim to achieve our interpretation of the most intelligent and relevant bank out there. It will bring us to a future where everything you need from a bank can be found in one feed. You'll be able to join communities to discuss personal financing, and learn how to make even better financial choices. Set individual savings goals, support charity, switch your financial services on and off as you wish, and manage your personal banking offers. Simply track, improve and control your financial health and entire economic life from one single place. This is relevant banking. The only way we’ll succeed is by listening to our customers and creating products, services and experiences that are relevant to them. That way we make sure to live our vision of improving financial life.
I couldn’t be more inspired to keep working towards our aim. In the end, our mission is all about democratizing banking and bringing the power back to the user.
//Hikmet Ego, co-founder and CEO, Northmill Bank