The SpareBank 1 Alliance was established in 1996 by major Norwegian regional savings banks.
The Alliance is a banking and product collaboration in which the SpareBank 1 banks in Norway closely cooperate. An overarching goal for the SpareBank 1 Alliance is to ensure the independence of the individual banks, and regional presence through strong competitive ability, profitability and financial strength. At the same time, the SpareBank 1 Alliance represents a competitive complete banking alternative at national level.
Founding banks were SpareBank 1 Midt Norge, SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge and SpareBank 1 SR-Bank
The SpareBank 1 Banks coordinate: Brand Building/Marketing, IT Operations and Systems Development, Risk Management and modelling, Centres of Excellence.
A group of smaller savings banks in eastern Norway (Samarbeidende Sparebanker or Samspar) joined the alliance shortly thereafter. In 2005 Sparebanken Hedmark in the east of the country joined. Today the SpareBank 1 Alliance consists of 15 banks, who jointly owns a further two banks (BN Bank and SpareBank 1 Oslo), so that in total there are 17 originators of the mortgage loans in the cover pool of the mutual covered bond issuer, SparBank 1 Boligkreditt. The Alliance also canalize a lot of its mutual interests through SpareBank 1 Gruppen AS, a holding company of life and non-life insurance, mutual funds, a broker-dealer and other companies.
The SpareBank 1 Alliance is collectively one of the largest providers of financial products and services in the Norwegian market. The alliance has established a national market profile and developed a common strategy for brand building and communications. The strategic marketing platform also forms the basis for common product and concept development. The marketing efforts are primarily directed at the retail market, small and medium-sized companies and unions affiliated to LO. Both the banks and product areas are doing well in the competitive landscape, and profit trends are good.
The purpose of the SpareBank 1 Alliance is for SpareBank 1 banks to develop, procure and supply competitive financial services and products and to exploit economies of scale, and to deliver the best advice and services on competitive terms to the customer base. The individual alliance banks are long standing independent financial institutions in Norway, most of which can trace their history back to the middle of the 19th century.
The main functions of the Group entity within the SpareBank 1 Alliance are twofold:
1. Operate and develop the production and delivery of competitive products and services for distribution among the alliance banks, other banks with distribution agreements with companies in the SpareBank 1 Gruppen and LO. This work is organised in SpareBank 1 Gruppen AS.
2. Operate and develop the alliance partnership with common administration, development and implementation of activities that give economies of scale and spread of expertise. This work is organised in the SpareBank 1 banks' company Alliansesamarbeidet SpareBank 1 DA, which provides the administrative superstructure for the alliance. The company administers financing and ownership of the applications, concepts, contracts and brand on behalf of the participants in the alliance.
The banks in the SpareBank 1 Alliance distribute the Group’s products and collaborate in such central areas as brands, work processes, expertise building, IT operations, system development and purchasing. The alliance has entered into strategic partnership agreements with the Norwegian Confederation of Trades Unions [LO] and its unions and delivers financial products and services to LO members through the loyalty program LOfavør.
The product companies established in the SpareBank 1 Gruppen AS and the alliance banks have developed a common technology platform. Experience exchange and transfer of expertise within the alliance, based on best practice, are an important element in further development of the alliance. As part of these efforts, centres of excellence have been established in Stavanger, Trondheim and Tromsø for Credit Management, Payment and Training, respectively.
The SpareBank 1 banks operate exclusively in Norway.
The SpareBank 1 Alliance banks cover the whole country with their presence The focus of the SpareBank 1 banks is primarily on retail (mortgage) lending which makes up approximately two thirds of the aggregated SpareBank 1 balance sheet. The remainder of the loan volume is outstanding with diversified Norwegian small and medium sized enterprises, and for commercial mortgages.
The map of Norway illustrates the geographical presence of the alliance banks where the dots symbolize the branches of the Alliance Banks. SpareBank 1 has the broadest physical branch coverage of any of the banks or banking groups in Norway, which is reflected in a broad distribution of the residential mortgage assets in the cover bond issuer’s cover pool. The SpareBank 1 Alliance banks are close their customers and in addition operates an award winning internet banking platform.
Market shares have grown slowly over the years
The SpareBank 1 Alliance is a banking and product alliance. By participating in it, the independent and locally anchored banks are all linked to and cooperate with each other. In this way, we combine efficient operations and economies of scale with the benefit of being close to our local customers and their local markets. The Alliance model has served the banks well.
In the regions where the largest banks are domiciled, market shares range between 30 to 50% in retail lending and deposits. The same market share applies to the local banks in our local districts. Nationally, due to an underrepresentation in Oslo and surrounding areas where a concentration of the population resides, the market share in residential mortgages is approximately 20%.
2nd largest lender
The SpareBank 1 Alliance is the second largest lender by assets in Norway. The following chart shows the outstanding balances in retail lending as of year-end 2013 for the largest banks.
The member banks in the alliance work in part through common projects and in part through the jointly owned holding company SpareBank 1 Gruppen AS.
SpareBank 1 Gruppen AS is owned by SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge (19.5%), SpareBank 1 SMN (19.5%), SpareBank 1 SR-Bank (19.5%) and Sparebanken Hedmark (12%), Samarbeidende Sparebanker AS (a group of local savings banks in southern Norway, 19.5%) and the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) and affiliated trade unions (10%).
The SpareBank 1 Alliance currently, as at 31/12/2012, consists of 15 independent banks, two jointly owned commercial banks and the SpareBank 1 Gruppen. The 15 independent banks in the alliance are:
- SpareBank 1 SR-Bank ASA
- SpareBank 1 SMN
- SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge
- Sparebanken Hedmark
as well as an amalgamation of several smaller banks under the name of Samarbeidene Sparebanker (SamSpar);
- SpareBank 1 Buskerud Vestfold
- SpareBank 1 Gudbrandsdal
- SpareBank 1 Hallingdal Valdres
- SpareBank 1 Lom og Skjåk
- SpareBank 1 Modum
- SpareBank 1 Nordvest
- SpareBank 1 Nøtterøy-Tønsberg
- SpareBank 1 Ringerike Hadeland
- SpareBank 1 Søre Sunnmøre
- SpareBank 1 Telemark
- SpareBank 1 Østfold Akershus
The two jointly owned commercial banks are Bank 1 Oslo Akershus AS and BN Bank ASA. In January 2013, Sparebanken Hedmark and LO and the affiliated unions increased their holdings in SpareBank 1 Oslo Akershus AS to 40.5% and 29.9%, respectively. The increase occurred after the acquisition of shares from SpareBank 1 SR-Bank ASA, SpareBank 1 SMN and SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge.
SpareBank 1 Gruppen AS is the parent company of the Group consisting of:
- SpareBank 1 Skadeforsikring (100%) - which owns 100% of the shares in Unison Forsikring AS
- SpareBank 1 Livsforsikring AS (100%)
- ODIN Forvaltning AS (100%)
- SpareBank 1 Medlemskort AS (100%)
- SpareBank 1 Gruppen Finans AS (100%) – which owns 100% of the shares in Conecto AS
- SpareBank 1 Markets AS (97.55%)
Please find below the direct links to the investor relations pages in English for the four largest SpareBank 1 Boligkreditt parent banks. These banks are rated by Moody's (A2) and Fitch (A and A-) and represent approximately 80% of the total assets of the SpareBank 1 Alliance as a whole.
SpareBank 1 Banks Financial Information - Information in English
Credit ratings for our parent banks
|Sr. Unsec. Ratings||Fitch||Moody’s|
|SpareBank 1 SMN||A- / F2||A2 / P-1|
|SpareBank 1 SR-Bank||A- / F2||A2 / P-1|
|SpareBank 1 Nord-Norge||A- / F1||A2 / P-1|
|Sparebank 1 Hedmark||n/a||A2 / P-1|