The history of Handelsbanken goes back to the spring of 1871 when a number of prominent companies and individuals in Stockholm’s business world founded “Stockholms Handelsbank”. The bank began operations on 1 July 1871 in rented offices located in the Old Town district of Stockholm, which at that time was still the commercial and financial centre of the city. Handelsbanken is a universal bank, offering a complete range of financial services such as traditional banking services to private and corporate customers, financing, investment banking, Cash Management, asset management, trading, investments in the equity, money and fund market as well as life insurance.
With 461 branches (31 December 2007), Handelsbanken is strong in the Swedish market. Over the past 15 years, universal banking operations have been developed in the other Nordic countries, and since 2000 also in Great Britain. As at 31 December 2007 Handelsbanken had 39 branches in Denmark, 44 in Finland, 46 in Norway and 42 in Great Britain. In addition there are 28 branches in 16 other countries.
Operating profit for continuning plus discontinued operations were SEK 19.4bn for the full year 2007. Total assets were appr. SEK 1 900bn, of which lending to general public were appr. SEK 1 300bn. The Bank has some 10,209 employees.
- Handelsbanken’s goals:
Handelsbanken’s financial goal is to have higher profitability than the average for its competitors
The financial goal should be achieved by the Bank having more satisfied customers and lower costs than its competitors
- Handelsbanken’s strengths
Handelsbanken has had higher profitability than the average for its competitors for the past 35 years
Handelsbanken has had the highest level of customer satisfaction for the past 16 years
Handelsbanken has been the most cost-effective universal bank in Europe for many years
For a long time, Handelsbanken has had a lower loan loss ratio than its competitors
- Handelsbanken’s corporate philosophy
A strongly decentralised organisation – the branch is the Bank
The customer in focus – not individual products
Profitability is always given higher priority than volumes
A long-term perspective
Oktogonen – the Bank’s profit-sharing system
- Handelsbanken and CSR
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to sound business ethics, social responsibility and environmental responsibility.
- Handelsbanken in the community
Handelsbanken wants to make better contributions to society than other banks by having more satisfied customers at the same time as its cost-effectiveness is higher.
- Social responsibility
At Handelsbanken, all individuals with the same competence have the same right to employment, promotion, salary and professional development regardless of gender, age, ethnic background or sexual orientation.
- Environment protection
Handelsbanken’s main goal in the environmental area is to participate in long-term sustainable development by taking action to minimise the negative environmental impact by the Bank.
- Ethical guidelines
Handelsbanken’s ethical guidelines state that all operations at the Bank are to be characterised by high ethical standards. The success of Handelsbanken in the market derives from the trust it enjoys from the public and authorities.
- Guidelines for research
The aim of Handelsbanken’s guidelines is to ensure that research products and investment recommendations are independent, give a fair picture, and are clear and not misleading. In addition, the guidelines aim to ensure the analysts’ integrity by identifying, eliminating, avoiding, dealing with, or making public actual or potential conflicts of interests relating to analysts or the Bank.
- Customer complaints
Handelsbanken aims to have the most satisfied customers of the Nordic banks. The bank takes customer complaints very seriously.
Handelsbanken’s latest sustainability report is available for download here.