Handelsbanken launches UK banking subsidiary

For immediate release, 3 December 2018

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.”

- ENDS -

For more information please contact:

Mariana Wall, Corporate Communications

020 7578 8198 / 07483 036 936


Notes to editors

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

*Handelsbanken has among the highest CET1 ratio of any bank in the world. (Source: EBA stress test Opens in a new window, November 2018 (p.21)).

In a stressed scenario, Handelsbanken could cover its liquidity requirements for over three years, even if access to new funding in the markets was unavailable. (Source: Handelsbanken interim report January – September 2018 Opens in a new window, p.61).

**Handelsbanken plc was given an expected AA rating with a stable outlook. (Source: Fitch Ratings Opens in a new window, 11th June 2018).

***EPSI Rating, October 2018. For more information visit www.epsi-rating.com Opens in a new window.

****Competition and Markets Authority, August 2018. For more information visit https://www.bva-bdrc.com/products/business-banking-service-quality-great-britain/ Opens in a new window.

*****For full details on the composition of the Handelsbanken plc Board, as well as biographies of its members, please click here.

Handelsbanken plc is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), fully authorised by the PRA and FCA. Now effective, it has replaced the UK branch of Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ). Both entities trade under ‘Handelsbanken’.

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 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.