Handelsbanken, the local relationship bank with over 200 branches across the UK, has today announced solid year-on-year growth with the publication of its 2018 annual results. The results are the first to be announced since the launch of the bank’s UK subsidiary in December.
In keeping with a robust set of group results for 2018 the bank’s UK business reported 10% growth in net lending to both individual and corporate customers to £20.3bn, with customer deposits rising 11% to £13.8bn.
The Bank saw particularly strong growth in household deposits, up 22% to £4.6bn, while corporate deposits also increased by 6% to £9.2bn. Operating profits increased by 55% to £227.7m and income increased by 14% to £558.3m.
The result before credit losses meanwhile rose 11% to £238.5m – as the Bank continues to benefit from a focus on delivering exceptionally high levels of customer service, prudent banking and cost efficiency, through its network of branches, all empowered to make the majority of everyday banking decisions.
Mikael Sorensen, UK CEO, says: “Our continued growth demonstrates ongoing appetite for our distinctive banking model, which is based on the development of long term, personal relationships with our customers. Through these relationships we aim to consistently deliver the highest levels of service possible, whilst doing our utmost to meet our customers’ specific banking needs.
“Our network of 208 branches, stretching from Inverness to Truro, Colwyn Bay to Canterbury, enables us to operate in this way. We are fully committed to branch-based, relationship banking, which we see as fundamental to our growth and success.
“Our long term commitment to the UK was reaffirmed by the creation of our UK authorised subsidiary in December. This was a natural next step for us in our development. We see lots of potential for growth in the UK and are excited to embark on this new journey, building a bank for the future.”
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.
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. Over the years Handelsbanken, which launched in the UK in 1982, has developed into a bigger and broader UK business, based on customer demand for its distinctive approach to banking.
Handelsbanken’s successful formula has 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 for the first time in August 2018.
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.