Handelsbanken reports steady 2020 as Bank invests in strengthening customer relationships through digital

3 February 2021

Summary of 2020 annual results, January-December 2020 figures compared with January-December 2019 (1): 

  • Lending up 1% to £21.7bn (corporate lending up 1% to £14.8bn)
  • Deposits up 15% to £17.6bn (corporate deposits up 19% to £12.5bn)
  • Assets under management steady at £4.0bn
  • Income decreased by 4% to £557.1m
  • Result before credit losses down by 15% to £187.9m 
  • Loan loss ratio of 0.04% 
  • Operating profits down by 20% to £177.2m

Mikael Sorensen, UK CEO, says: “As a bank, we see it as our duty to stand strong and support our customers through the economic cycle. Over the last 12 months we have sought to fulfil this responsibility by keeping our branches open throughout, staying close to our customers and providing proactive support tailored to meet customers’ distinct needs.

“We’ve been encouraged by the trust our customers continue to place in us, which is well illustrated by the steady rise in deposits since the crisis began, as well as by how effectively we’ve been able to deal with any difficulties together. We remain focused on assisting our customers through these uncertain times, as well as helping them prepare for a world beyond the pandemic, both in terms of economic recovery and the longer-term transition to a low-carbon economy. 

“Our local, relationship banking approach appears to be particularly valued at times like these. This year and beyond, we will be enhancing this approach through further investment in our digital capabilities. This investment is part of our plans to build a bank for the future, placing expertise and support closer to our branches so that our customers can choose how they want to engage with us and enjoy the best of both worlds - excellent personal service coupled with improved digital platforms and tools.”

Handelsbanken forms long-term, personal relationships with customers, through its distinct local relationship banking model. Customers have direct access to experienced branch teams who are empowered to make decisions locally, based on each customer’s specific needs and without product or sales targets. 

This formula has, for the fifth 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 20202. In addition, for the twelfth year in a row, Handelsbanken has been top-ranked for satisfaction, for both personal and business banking, in an independent survey of British bank customers3.

Handelsbanken launched in the UK in 1982 and, over the years, has developed its UK business, based on customer demand for its personal 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 has since continued to invest in its UK infrastructure, strengthening its foundations for ongoing growth and securing its long-term presence in the UK. 

Handelsbanken plc has been assigned a long-term credit rating of AA with a negative outlook by international credit ratings agency, Fitch – a position reaffirmed in September 2020. Handelsbanken plc also has a long-term credit rating of AA- with a stable outlook 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

07483 036 936


Notes to editors

1 Please note that the release reports Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ)’s UK segment figures for Q4 2020. 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 Competition and Markets Authority, August 2020. For more information, please visit: https://www.bva-bdrc.com/products/business-banking-service-quality-great-britain/ Opens in a new window.

3 EPSI Rating, September 2020. For more information, please visit - https://www.epsi-rating.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/EPSI-Rating-UK-Banking-2020.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 725 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 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 and investment management services through its UK subsidiary Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset 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 neither the bank nor its wealth and asset management subsidiary offers its staff bonuses.

For information regarding sustainability at Handelsbanken, please see here: https://www.handelsbanken.co.uk/en/about-us/sustainability.