Swedish Bank Handelsbanken has completed property deals in the North-East worth £2.6m.

The bank, which moved into the region two months ago, has advanced funding to allow property developers City and Northern to extend its portfolio.

In the first deal, City and Northern refinanced one of its recently completed developments, a building at Kingsway, Team Valley, which is currently let to Del Monte as a distribution centre.

The second deal involved funding to buy an office building on the Newcastle Business Park, which has been let to BT Cellnet.

Over the last year, City and Northern has taken advantage of prevailing market conditions to expand its investment portfolio.

This has involved retaining some of its own developments as well as purchasing a number of well let investments.

A lot of the company's success has come about from a personal relationship between City and Northern managing director Elliott Ward and Handlesbanken's corporate manager Simon Lenney.

Mr Ward said: "Handelsbanken has a flexible and refreshing approach because each branch is autonomous.

"It is effectively the managers' own business unit, so they don't operate with the same rules and regulations that apply in some high street banks.

He added: "They are all well versed in commercial property issues and are very familiar with the local market so they can tailor their product to meet its demands."

Mr Lenney is optimistic about the interest already shown by local businesses in what the bank has to offer.

He said: "There is nothing standard about the way we do business. We can make decisions on the spot and follow that up swiftly with the necessary paper work so customers aren't kept waiting."

He added: "With City and Northern we have been able to introduce a flexible repayment profile that suits cash flow and allows the company to maintain liquidity.

"This was provided in the light of the customers' excellent track record and our knowledge of the local property market."

Handelsbanken has over 450 branches in Sweden, 30 in other Nordic countries and 20 branches worldwide.