Handelsbanken's relationship banking model yields record UK annual results

07 February 2024

Summary of results January – December 2023 compared with January – December 2022

  • Total income increased by 32% to £918.2m
  • Total expenses increased 12% to £437.9m
  • Result before credit losses up by 59% to £480.3m
  • Operating profits up by 59% to £476.4m

Local relationship bank Handelsbanken is today reporting its best ever UK annual results. Following a year that has seen a challenging economic backdrop both at home and abroad, Handelsbanken’s relationship-driven model and emphasis on customer satisfaction has proved resilient, with the bank posting its highest ever income, best ever operating result, and highest return on equity to date. Results before credit losses were up by 59% year-on-year to a record £480m, and the overall deposit book has increased.

Mikael Sørensen, UK CEO, said: “Our record results reflect both the success of our unique business model, and our never-ending commitment to customer satisfaction and cost control. 

“We are continuously investing in digital services to meet a clear customer demand. At the same time, as a relationship bank we also know our customers value the opportunity to discuss their banking and wealth-management needs, face to face, with people who know their financial aspirations inside-out – and have their best interests at heart. So what we are able to offer is a combination of human-led advice and compelling technological solutions. 

“Coupled with the fact that we have never used short-term incentives like sales targets or bonuses, but empower our branch colleagues to make the right decisions for their customers, this has enabled us to build long-term relationships based on the sustainable values of trust, respect and financial strength. 

This approach enables us to understand and respond to customer demand. For example, across the course of the year we have been developing a suite of green finance products to meet the clear needs of our customers, as well as the obvious direction of travel from policymakers and regulators. 

“We have always believed there is demand for our relationship approach to banking. But you need only look at the numbers to see whether we are right. Not only are we able to post record results today, we also remain Europe’s safest commercial bank (1), top of the independent CMA Business Banking survey for relationship banking (2), and  rated highest for customer satisfaction for the 15th year in a row, according to the EPSI ratings group (3). We have been able to grow because our branch colleagues know their local markets on a fundamental level; customers believe in our financial stability and want do to business with real people. 

We realise that the economic landscape is changing, but as we move into the next financial year we are confident that our very strong position means we will be able to support our customers and help them to thrive, come what may.” 

- ENDS -

For more information please contact: 

James Douglass, External Affairs Manager


+44 (0)7773 727032

Notes to editors

(1) Global Finance Magazine, 10 November 2023: World’s Safest Commercial Banks 2023 | Global Finance Magazine (gfmag.com) Opens in a new window

(2) CMA Business Banking Quality Survey August 2023: Business banking service quality - Great Britain - BVA BDRC (bva-bdrc.com)  Opens in a new window

(3) EPSI Rating 18th September 2023: epsi-uk-2023.pdf (epsi-rating.com) 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).

Handelsbanken was established in Stockholm in 1871 and in Sweden, it is one of the country’s leading banks with a nationwide branch network. The Bank’s home markets are Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK. It also has operations in Luxembourg and the USA.

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, individuals, and property investors, and offers 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 bespoke service. The focus is always on the need of the individual customer and not on the sale of specific products.

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