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Local relationship bank Handelsbanken has reported its best ever UK annual results, despite 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 £480 million, and the overall deposit book has increased.
Performance highlights for the group include:
- Total income increased by 32% to £918.2 million
- Total expenses increased 12% to £437.9 million
- Result before credit losses up by 59% to £480.3 million
- Operating profits up by 59% to £476.4 million
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 [7th February], 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.”