A bank which prides itself on doing things differently is celebrating its first birthday.
Handelsbanken, which is based in Prebendal Court, Aylesbury was set up by manager Derek Beards last year.
Starting at the bottom at Lloyds bank aged 16, Derek had a wealth of experience in retail banking, but was also well aware of its pitfalls.
So when the enthusiastic manager learned about Swedish bank Handelsbanken, which prides itself on offering the kind of one on one service all banks used to offer, he set about making a business case for bringing one to Aylesbury.
Father of three Derek, who lives in Hazelmere, said: “They told me to make a business plan, I would never have had that in a big institution, it was so scary, but also really exciting.
“But what an opportunity, to be responsible for finding suitable premises, recruiting staff and really building something from scratch.”
The bank employs four staff, and in a year is well on the way to becoming a part of the community.
From donating their boardroom for use by local charities, to supporting the Temple Street literary club.
Handelsbanken has also hosted meetings of the Bucks Community Foundation and the Local Enterprise Partnership.
Derek said: “This is really important to me, I’m just starting to get to the stage where I see people walking around Aylesbury who know me as the manager of Handelsbanken. That’s a good feeling, it’s shows we are making an impact.”