Handelsbanken 2019 results: A focus on long-term sustainability and customer satisfaction drives consistent growth

For immediate release, 5th February 2020

Local relationship bank, Handelsbanken, has today announced its 2019 annual results (1), showing consistent year-on-year growth driven by its ongoing commitment to long-term sustainable values, and a focus on delivering high levels of customer satisfaction.

In its first year as a fully-licensed UK bank, Handelsbanken has continued to invest in its UK infrastructure, strengthening its foundations for continued growth and securing its long-term presence in the UK.

Meanwhile the Bank’s commitment to its local relationship banking model which, delivered through over 200 branches across the UK, places a predominant focus on providing high levels of bespoke customer service, has helped achieve consistent and profitable growth throughout the year.

Indeed, for 2019, the Bank’s UK business reported 5 per cent growth in net lending to both individual and corporate customers to £21.4bn, with customer deposits rising 10 per cent to £15.3bn.

The Bank saw particularly strong growth in corporate deposits, up 14 per cent to £10.5bn, while household deposits also increased by 4 per cent to £4.8bn. Operating profit increased by 4 per cent to £222.8m(2) and income increased by 4 per cent to £582.3m.

Mikael Sorensen, UK CEO, says: “2019 was an exciting year in the development of Handelsbanken, marking our first full year as a UK licensed bank. Over the course of the last year we have continued to consolidate our business, investing further in developing the systems, infrastructure and expertise that have helped us build the foundations for future growth.

“Maintaining consistent growth in our business volumes, whilst undergoing this period of change demonstrates the strength of Handelsbanken’s local relationship banking proposition, and is testament to the hard work and unwavering commitment of our colleagues up and down the country.

“The investments we are making in our business mean we are now in an even stronger position to take full advantage of the strong growth potential we see in the UK. We have been here for almost four decades, but the truth is we are only just getting started. We look forward to providing our services to more and more customers who share our long-term thinking and sustainable values.”

Handelsbanken customers enjoy direct access to experienced branch teams who are empowered to make decisions locally and deliver high levels of bespoke customer service, without the presence of product or sales targets.

Over the years Handelsbanken, which launched in the UK in 1982, has developed into a bigger and broader UK business, based on customer demand for its distinct approach to banking. In December 2018, in a demonstration of its long-term commitment to the UK, Handelsbanken became a fully licensed UK bank, Handelsbanken plc, a wholly-owned subsidiary of its Swedish parent, Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ).

Handelsbanken’s successful formula has, for the third time, led to the Bank topping recommendations for its services in four of the five categories of the Competition and Markets Authority’s independent service quality survey for business banking, the results of which were published in August 2019(3). And for the eleventh year in a row, Handelsbanken has been top-ranked for satisfaction, for both personal and business banking, in an independent survey of British bank customers(4).

Handelsbanken plc has been assigned a long term credit rating of AA with a stable outlook by international credit ratings agency, Fitch; and a long term credit rating of AA- by Standard & Poor’s. The ratings are the same as those given for the subsidiary’s Swedish parent, Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), and confirm the Bank’s strength, stability and creditworthiness.

- ENDS -

For more information please contact:

Mariana Wall, Corporate Communications UK

020 7578 8198 / 07483 036 936


Notes to editors

1 Please note that the release reports Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ)’s UK segment figures for Q4 2019. Segment reporting presents income / expenses and assets / liabilities broken down by business segments. A business segment is a part of the Group and runs operations which generate external or internal income and expenses; and of which the profit / loss is regularly assessed and followed up by the company management, as part of corporate governance.

2 Including a one-off positive effect in 2018 related to a change in the pension plan, UK operating profit fell by 2%.

3 Competition and Markets Authority, August 2019. For more information, please visit: www.bva-bdrc.com/products/business-banking-service-quality-great-britain/ Opens in a new window.

4 EPSI Rating, October 2019. For more information, please visit - www.epsi-rating.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/EPSI-Rating-UK-Banking-2019.pdf Opens in a new window.

For photos and logos, please visit: www.handelsbanken.co.uk/media

Handelsbanken is the trading name of Handelsbanken plc, which is incorporated in England and Wales with company number 11305395. Registered office: 3 Thomas More Square, London, E1W 1WY, UK. Handelsbanken plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Financial Services Register number 806852.

Handelsbanken plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ).

In Sweden, Handelsbanken is one of country’s leading banks with approximately 750 branches across six home markets, and over 12,000 employees.

Handelsbanken was established in Stockholm in 1871 and has operated in the UK since 1982. The UK is one of Handelsbanken’s six “home market” countries, where the bank offers relationship banking to domestic market customers, the other countries being Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands.

In the UK, Handelsbanken is a relationship bank with a decentralised way of working, a strong local presence due to a nationwide network of over 200 branches and a long-term approach to customer relations. Handelsbanken specialises in providing personalised and competitive banking services to both businesses and individuals, as well as wealth management services provided by specialists, Handelsbanken Wealth Management. Its investment management services are provided through its UK subsidiary, Heartwood Investment Management. Each Handelsbanken branch operates as a small business enabling it to make decisions at a local level and provide a service that is bespoke. The focus is always on the need of the individual customer and not on the sale of specific products, hence the bank does not offer its branch staff bonuses.