Handelsbanken named most recommended for SME banking for second time in CMA survey

For immediate release, 15 February 2019

Handelsbanken, the local relationship bank with over 200 branches across the UK, has once again been ranked top in four of the five categories identified by the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) independent service quality survey for business banking, the results of which have been published for the second time today.

The results show that Handelsbanken was again rated best for overall quality of service (85%); relationship / account management (91%); SME overdraft and loan services (83%); and services in branches and business centres (77%)*. Please see full results below.

Scores for best overall quality of service; relationship / account management; and services in branches and business centres have all increased even further compared to the top-rating scores received by the Bank in these categories when the survey was originally published in August 2018.

The ongoing survey, most recently conducted from January 2018 to December 2018, is intended to help customers compare the quality of service offered by Britain’s 14 largest business current account providers. The survey looks at customers’ willingness to recommend a financial provider to other SMEs based on factors such as their overall service quality and their online, mobile, lending and branch services.

Handelsbanken’s branch based banking model places a clear focus on customer satisfaction and developing long term customer relationships. The Bank has no product or sales targets and customers enjoy direct contact with local, decision-making branch teams.

This approach has already led to Handelsbanken receiving the highest rating for customer satisfaction and loyalty for the tenth year running in an independent survey of British banks’ personal and business customers**.

Mikael Sorensen, Handelsbanken UK CEO, says: “At Handelsbanken, customer satisfaction is fundamental to the success of the Bank. We have one simple goal as a bank, which is to be more profitable than our peers, and this should be delivered by us having the most satisfied customers and by keeping our costs low. We are therefore very pleased that the survey results have once again demonstrated that our customers are satisfied with the quality of service they receive.

“Our network of over 200 branches across the country are empowered to make the majority of all decisions. It is the trust and long-term personal relationships that they build with our customers which we believe help create satisfied customers. Our customers value being able to turn to someone they know and trust for help or expert advice on their banking affairs if they need it.

“We recently became a fully-authorised UK bank,, which will enable us to take full advantage of the growth potential we see in the UK. As we progress with building our bank for the future, our branches will continue to be fundamental to our development in the UK. They are, and will continue to be, the home for the relationships we develop with our customers.”

All banks participating in the CMA’s service quality survey will be required to display the latest results in their branches and on their websites from today onwards. The survey will be ongoing and the results will be updated every six months, in August and February.

The survey will interview approximately 1,400 customers per provider across Great Britain each year. Results will only be published where at least 100 customers have provided a score for a service in the survey period.


For more information please contact:

Mariana Wall, Corporate Communications

020 7578 8198 / 07483 036936


Notes to editors

CMA Service Quality Results – Business Banking February 2019

*BVA BDRC, February 2019. For more information, please visit –  www.bva-bdrc.com/products/business-banking-service-quality-great-britain/ Opens in a new window

**EPSI Rating, October 2018. For more information, please visit -  www.epsi-rating.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/EPSI-Rating-UK-Banking-2018.pdf Opens in a new window

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

Handelsbanken plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Handelsbanken plc is rated AA with a stable outlook (Source: Fitch, February 2019). The rating is the same as that given for the parent company, Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ).

Handelsbanken is one of Sweden’s leading banks with almost 800 branches in more than 20 countries, and approximately 12,000 employees.

Handelsbanken was established in Stockholm in 1871 and has operated in the UK since 1982. The local relationship bank manages a decentralised network of over 200 branches across Britain, with further expansion ongoing. The UK is one of Handelsbanken’s six “home market” countries, where the bank offers full service banking to domestic market customers, the other countries being Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland and the Netherlands.

Handelsbanken is a full-service 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.

Handelsbanken was also named joint first safest commercial bank, by Global Finance magazine in 2018 (for more information please see here). Global Finance is a monthly magazine covering worldwide economic, financial and political issues from a global corporate perspective. Each year it publishes a ranking of the world's safest commercial banks, based on long-term currency ratings issued by Fitch, Standard & Poor's and Moody's Investors Service for the last annual reporting period.

For the purpose of this ranking, commercial banks are defined as those that are not majority-owned by governments and not sponsored by governments or regional bodies.