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Handelsbanken Chief Economist Gives ‘Hot Topics In Economics’ Lesson To Future Finance Experts

16 June 2021

Handelsbanken Chief Economist Gives ‘Hot Topics In Economics’ Lesson To Future Finance Experts

Durham Sixth Form pupils learn first-hand why a career in Finance is a smart choice as Chief Economist at Handelsbanken, Mr James Sproule, shares his industry experience.

The lecture, delivered to Durham School Sixth Form by Mr Sproule, was titled ‘Hot Topics in Economics’ and discussed the Economy, Income Distribution, the Impact of Covid, Monetary Policy, Brexit, Entrepreneurism, and the Future of Finance.

Mr Sproule, who before becoming the Chief Economist at Handelsbanken was a Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister in 2019 said, “Life as an Economist is very interesting. We look a lot at numbers and we try to discern a story in telling those numbers and part of the thing here is also I also find it very intellectually interesting. It often involves meeting and talking with interesting people. I want to excite the pupils about how interesting Economics can be and to convince some of them who are thinking about studying Economics at university, that it is a very good choice.”

Starting his career in the Royal Navy, Mr Sproule served five years as a Signals Officer. After this time, he decided to pursue a career in Finance. 

Mr Sproule said, “I have seen financial services change immensely over my career and I have been working in banking since the 1990s. I think that the ultimate thing that banks do is they collect money from people who have savings, corporate or individual, and they redirect that cash to new profitable ventures. The necessity of that job remains and will continue on into the future. It is a job that requires a reasonable degree of intellectual skill and I think it is unlikely to change all that much. That said, a lot of the individual roles within banks have changed immensely.”

Mr Sproule has been the Chief Economist at Handelsbanken for a year now, a bank which was established in Stockholm in the 1870s, and is now one of the world’s strongest banks with over 200 branches worldwide.

Max Hodgson, a pupil who attended the lecture said, “What I found particularly interesting about the lecture was the diagrammatic representations of the effects of the COVID-19 at present and indeed the effects yet to come after the pandemic has relinquished. I also found Mr Sproule’s discussion on his personal experiences in the banking industry very interesting. The presentation itself further proved to heighten my interest in the broader topic of economics, hence why I have chosen a course in Economics and Finance as my firm choice to hopefully study at Newcastle University commencing this September. Such a course would open a broad array of opportunities for me in the field of commerce.”

Do you work in business/finance and would like to share your experience with our Sixth Form pupils? If so, please contact Mr Andrew Graham at – the pupils look forward to meeting you!

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