Handelsbanken, the local relationship bank with over 200 branches across Britain, has today launched its new UK subsidiary, Handelsbanken plc, thereby laying the foundations for the next stage of profitable growth in the UK.
Last month, Handelsbanken plc gained authorisation from the UK regulators, and the Bank was granted permission by the High Court to transfer its business from the UK branch of its Swedish parent, Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ). Today, Handelsbanken plc is effective as a wholly-owned UK subsidiary, remaining part of the Handelsbanken Group – one of the best capitalised banks in the world*. Handelsbanken plc will have a CET1 ratio well above the total capital requirement of 13.9 per cent set by the Prudential Regulation Authority.
Handelsbanken plc is expected to receive an AA credit rating with a stable outlook, according to an assessment by the Fitch credit rating agency**. Standard & Poor’s is expected to award Handelsbanken plc an AA– credit rating with a stable outlook, according to their assessment.
Mikael Sorensen, UK CEO says: “Today is another important milestone in the development of Handelsbanken’s UK story. Since we launched in the UK in 1982, we have grown organically, through recommendation and referral. We rely on experienced and empowered branch teams providing first class service to our customers, and are proud to have had the most satisfied personal and business customers for a decade***. We were also recently ranked the most recommended bank for SMEs, in the Competition and Markets Authority’s Independent Service Quality survey****. By launching a subsidiary we will be able to take full advantage of the growth potential we see in the UK, and we are excited about the opportunities to do more business with our existing customers, as well as welcoming new individuals and businesses to the Bank.
“There are some clear benefits to creating our UK subsidiary structure. Improvements to our systems will ensure that our branches will have access to better information flows, helping them to further improve on the already high levels of customer service they provide. We will also be placing expertise in areas such as capital and liquidity management closer to our branches and the customers they serve, meaning that the Bank, and ultimately our customers, will benefit from a deep understanding of the UK markets.”
As part of the creation of Handelsbanken plc, a comprehensive new governance structure has been implemented, including a UK board with three independent non-executive directors (INEDs)*****.
Mikael Hallåker, Chairman of the Board, says: “I am delighted to welcome Tanya Castell, Maureen Laurie and John Ellacott to the Board as our INEDs. Together with our Handelsbanken directors, we have a wealth of expertise from both within the banking sector and well beyond it.
“The Board’s contribution to Handelsbanken’s stewardship will be key to our continued development as we enter this next phase of our UK growth.”
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For more information please contact:
Mariana Wall, Corporate Communications
020 7578 8198 / 07483 036 936