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Fana Sparebank: How a regional savings bank became a national success with Himla digital-only banking services

TietoEVRY’s full stack digital banking solutions were key to power Fana Sparebank’s expansion.

Silje Kolbenstvedt

Customer Executive

The challenge

As a local Norwegian bank with a strong footprint in Bergen, Fana Sparebank wanted to grow and attract new customers on a national level, focusing on mortgages.

The solution

Using their own banking licence, Fana launched Himla as a nationwide digital-only banking services’ brand. Himla was built on TietoEVRY’s internet and mobile banking solutions - core banking, payment, security, cards and customer channels.

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About the customer

Fana Sparebank was established in 1878 and ranks at the 12th largest bank in Norway. Its 135 employees are mostly located in the Bergen region of western Norway. Fana launched Himla in June 2020, an independent brand with a complete internet and mobile bank, designed for the digital age with a distinct look & feel.

More about Himla

More about Fana Sparebank

Himla offers low rates, a simple price list and easy onboarding where users can apply for a loan before entering the actual onboarding process, preventing users from becoming customers unnecessarily.

Easy to onboard, easy to understand

Himla offers low rates, a simple price list and easy onboarding where users can apply for a loan before entering the actual onboarding process, preventing users from becoming customers unnecessarily.

The highly automated lending solution has enabled Himla to quickly scale up and expand Fana’s footprint across Norway. 84% of Himla customers live outside Fana’s traditional regional market in Bergen.

National expansion

The highly automated lending solution has enabled Himla to quickly scale up and expand Fana’s footprint across Norway. 84% of Himla customers live outside Fana’s traditional regional market in Bergen.

By leveraging TietoEVRY’s existing core systems, Fana was able to launch Himla within months, at a very competitive cost.

Fast time to market and cost efficiency

By leveraging TietoEVRY’s existing core systems, Fana was able to launch Himla within months, at a very competitive cost.

Lisbet K. Nerø, CEO of Fana Sparebank, has reasons to be proud of herself and of the 135 people working in Fana Sparebank. They are one of the fastest growing banks in Norway, and in spite of their small size, they’ve managed to launch innovative products and pilots. Himla Banking Services is their latest achievement.

Lisbet Nærø cropped.jpg

Lisbet K. Nerø, CEO of Fana Sparebank

We’re just the right size to do successful pilots.

Lisbet K. Nerø

CEO, Fana Sparebank

Based on the success of launching Himla Real Estate in 2018, Fana Sparebank aimed at creating Himla Banking Services two short years later. In an already crowded banking market, they had to think outside of the box, not to mention work extremely fast.

The solution was to build on the same concept as Himla Real Estate, going fully digital, thereby offering the customers simple and “easy to understand” products.

Our goal was to create the world’s “easiest to understand pricing list” for bank customers. We see that banking customers are diverse and by launching Himla, we expand our list of products even further, so that all our customers get offerings suitable for their needs.

Lisbet K. Nerø

CEO, Fana Sparebank

Success, however, was dependent on getting the solution out in the market rapidly. This is where their strategic partnership with TietoEVRY came into play.

TietoEVRY already delivers our banking solutions for Fana, so naturally they know us and have an interest in us succeeding with Himla. As we’ve experienced, they’re good at optimizing existing solutions, which in this case allowed us to get to market fast.

Lisbet K. Nerø

CEO, Fana Sparebank

As for the goals set out by Himla at its start, Nerø can gladly announce that they’ve surpassed them already. The ambition for Himla was to lend approximately 50 million euros. At present, they’ve already signed more than 350 new customers and are lending out 80 million euros. In Q3 2020, Fana announced the highest growth recorded in the bank's history, with much attributed to Himla Banking Services contributing just over half of the volume. 

Silje Kolbenstvedt has been the customer contact for Fana Sparebank from TietoEVRY’s side. She is thrilled to see Himla succeed in the market.

Silje.jpg

Silje Kolbenstvedt, Customer Executive, Financial Services at TietoEVRY

We had a couple of hectic months. We were basically racing against the clock. Being able to reuse and tweak existing technology is one of our greatest assets.

Silje Kolbenstvedt

Customer Executive, Financial Services, TietoEVRY

She stresses that most of TietoEVRY’s solutions are “plug and play”, which makes it easy for a bank like Fana to leverage them into new pilots like Himla.  Silje also emphasizes that going with this kind of option is far more cost and time efficient than building an online bank completely from scratch.  The lending solution is also highly automated, making Himla extremely cost efficient to run.

Silje thinks the successful launch of Himla busts two myths about the banking market.

One myth is that small, traditional banks like Fana are struggling in today’s competitive market. Nevertheless, look at what Fana accomplished by being bold and open-minded! Sometimes I also hear that large companies like TietoEVRY “can’t be innovative” in the same way small FinTechs can. In this case our extensive banking portfolio and massive competence proved to be key to help Fana succeed.

Silje Kolbenstvedt

Customer Executive, Financial Services, TietoEVRY

Interested in what we can do for you? Get in touch or visit read more about TietoEVRY Financial Services!

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