OREANDA-NEWS. June 5, 2012. In the Best Banking Act contest organised by the Estonian Banking Association, the jury voted Swedbank’s Financial Planner as the best banking service of 2011.

The jury of the Best Banking Act contest organised by the Banking Association assessed the best banking products and services introduced in 2011. Swedbank’s Financial Planner, which had reached the final round with five other entries, was deemed the best. Following an online vote, the People's Choice award was given to SEB’s financial assistants for private and corporate clients.

According to Katrin Taliharm, Managing Director of the Banking Association who led the work of the jury, all the entries that reached the final round where characterised by focus on customer benefits and ease of use. “The fact that two services intended to provide customers with an overview of their financial affairs were awarded a prize implies that financial literacy is considered increasingly important both in the product development of banks as well as by customers themselves,” Taliharm said.

Swedbank’s Financial Planner, which received the Jury Prize, enables retail customers to obtain automatic overviews of their bank transactions, divided into expense and income groups, and to plan their financial affairs.

Ulla Ilisson, Head of Swedbank’s Retail Banking Division in Estonia, says that the bank has for years worked on increasing the Estonian people's knowledge of planning financial matters. “The Family Budget Planner is a part of the activities in this sphere and customers accepted it very quickly. This is also proved by the number of its users, which is now 20,000 and still growing. We interact with our customers on a daily basis and use their feedback to further improve the service,” Ilisson said, adding that the option of applying the financial planner to all the accounts of a family was introduced at the request of customers.

Banks operating in Estonia could participate in the contest dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the Banking Association either independently or with a partner. Entries that had been made available to customers in 2011 could be submitted to the contest.