Empowered branches drive Handelsbanken's strong Q2 results


Handelsbanken, the local relationship bank, has today announced its Q2 results which show consistent growth, driven by the Bank’s decentralised network of over 200 branches.

The first half of 2019 has seen continued investment in building strong foundations for Handelsbanken’s newly licensed UK bank. Its emphasis on local relationship banking and high levels of customer service has helped the Bank’s branches achieve consistent profitable growth, supporting local individuals and businesses across the country.

Summary of the Q2 2019 figures compared to Q2 2018 unless otherwise stated:

·        UK deposits up 10% to £14.8bn: corporate deposits up 13% to £10.1bn; household deposits up 4% to £4.7bn
·        UK lending up 6% to £21.4bn: corporate lending up 8% to £14.7bn; household lending (largely mortgages) up 2% to £6.7bn
·        UK income increased by 6% to £287m (Jan-Jun 19 vs Jan-Jun 18)
·        UK operating profit is up 5% to £108.1m for the quarter, excluding a one-off positive effect in 2018 related to a change in the pension plan (including the one-off positive effect, UK operating profit was down by 7%) (Jan-Jun 19 vs Jan-Jun 18)

Mikael Sorensen, UK CEO, says: “As we build our bank for the future, another strong set of results in Q2 reinforces the irreplaceable value of our branches.

“At Handelsbanken we say that the ‘branch is the Bank’ because our branches are the home for the long-term, personal relationships we form with our customers. Through our branches, customers can speak to their trusted local account manager about their finances, but they of course also have the option to self-serve, via our many digital services should they prefer to do that.

“We are currently investing in our UK business, building capabilities and further capacity to embark on the next stage of our growth. At the heart of this evolution, remains a firm commitment to our distinctive branch-based model, which allows us to deliver the personal relationship banking and high levels of customer service that our customers have become accustomed to. We continue to see a demand for our distinctive way of banking and today’s Q2 results evidence this.”

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

In February 2019, Handelsbanken was ranked top in four of the five categories identified by the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) independent service quality survey for business banking, including best for overall quality of service, for the second time.

In October last year, Handelsbanken was rated as having the most satisfied and loyal customers of all British banks for the tenth year in a row, according to an independent survey of British banking customers run by EPSI Rating.

Handelsbanken plc, the official name of Handelsbanken’s UK subsidiary, 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.

On 31 May 2019, Handelsbanken plc completed a £400m Tier 2 debt issuance to its parent, Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), in order to support future growth, diversify its capital base and meet higher capital requirements for some of its exposures secured by commercial real estate. The issuance helped to deliver a total capital ratio of 16.5% as of 30 June 2019, in excess of the current regulatory minimum of 13.9%.