Handelsbanken

RATING

SECTOR

Banking

WEBSITE

CONTACT

Kungsträdgårdsgatan 2
SE-10670 Stockholm
Sweden

Tel:

  • Switchboard: +46 8 701 10 00
  • Personal service 24 hours a day:
    +46 771 77 88 99

STOCK EXCHANGE

LISTING

  • Kantar SIFO Prospera#1 External Asset Management 2020 – Handelsbanken Asset Management won the top spot in the “External Asset Management 2020” category of this year’s Kantar SIFO Prospera survey
    • For assessed returns, customer service, sales competency, reports, brand, and sustainability.
  • EPSI Rating – In 2020, Handelsbanken had more satisfied private and corporate customers than the industry average in all six home markets
    • EPSI (Extended Performance Satisfaction Index) and SKI (Swedish Quality Index) collects, analyses and distributes information about customer satisfaction, brand loyalty and other aspects of customer experience such as image, quality and value for money

EMPLOYEES

11,832

CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER

Alexander Campiglia Hedvall

AWARDS

  • Sustainability Yearbook 2021 
    • Handelsbanken is one of the most sustainable banks in the world, according to the research firm SAM
    • Handelsbanken is the only Nordic bank to be included in the Sustainability Yearbook for five consecutive years 
    • This means that of all the world’s banks, Handelsbanken is among the 15 percent with the highest rating in terms of sustainability
  • Most Sustainable Bank 2020 
    • Handelsbanken is Sweden’s most sustainable listed company in the category of Banking and finance, according to the ranking Sustainable Companies 2020 
    • By the Swedish business daily Dagens Industri, Aktuell hållbarhet and School of Economics and Management in Lund
  • The World’s Safest Commercial Bank 2020 
    • Handelsbanken is one of seven banks with the highest score on the list of the world’s safest commercial banks 2020
      • According to the annual survey by Global Finance
      • The survey was partly based on an evaluation of the banks’ latest ratings from the international credit rating agencies Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
  • Sweden’s Small Enterprise Bank 2020
    • Handelsbanken has been acclaimed as Sweden’s Small Enterprise Bank of the Year
    • Handelsbanken’s decentralised business model, with its strong local presence and extensive branch network, is again valued by the Bank’s customers
    • Smaller companies particularly appreciate the personal service
    • Finansbarometern is one of Sweden’s largest independent market surveys, focusing on how companies view their banking relationships
      • The survey is based on businesses and organisations with fewer than 20 employees. There were respondents from approximately 1,300 companies in the survey.
  • Sustainable Player of the Year – investments
    • Söderberg & Partners have recognised Handelsbanken Fonder, their Swedish based mutual fund operations, as the sustainable actor of the year in its “Trafikljusrapport” for 2020 
    • The justification reads: “Handelsbanken has made a sustainability journey from incident-based to proactive impact work. In addition to a dedicated sustainability team, they have also anchored their sustainability analysis into all the asset management, raising the focus on sustainability in all funds offered to the end-customer”. 
  • Best Private Bank in the UK 2018
    • Handelsbanken in the UK has been named ‘Best Private Bank’ by Financial Times and Investors Chronicle Wealth Management Awards for the fifth time
    • The judges’ decision was based on a survey in which the readers of these publications related their experiences and provided opinions about their banks
  • Best SME Banking Service in the UK 
    • In the CMA survey 2018, customers of the 14 largest business current account providers were asked if they would recommend their provider to other small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
    • Handelsbanken came top overall and in 4 out of 5 of the service categories measured
  • Best Service Among Banks in Sweden 2018
    • Handelsbanken has received the award for Best service among banks in Sweden, according to the ServiceScore survey
    • Handelsbanken is rewarded for its business model centred on branches, where customers feel that they are talking to the person making the decisions
    • ServiceScore is based on the opinions of some 3,300 people, where companies in 22 sectors are assessed in terms of the level of service that customers consider they receive, based on their expectations
 

CONTENT SOURCE

FURTHER READING

Report created by Kavita Kripalani

Handelsbanken

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Targets  •  Key Points  •  Overview

Company Activity

Svenska Handelsbanken AB engages in the provision of financial and banking services. It operates through the following segments: Sweden, United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Norway, The Netherlands, Capital Markets, and Others. The Capital Markets segment refers to the investment bank, including securities trading, and investment advisory services. The company was founded in 1871 and is headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden.

Company Sustainability Activity

Handelsbanken understands the impact it has on society, the environment and the financial market. Taking responsibility and looking to the future has been key in guiding their work over many decades.

Strong and lasting business relationships, low risk-taking and cost-awareness are cornerstones of Handelsbanken’s business. Their sustainable thinking has been integrated for so long that it has become natural. Handelsbanken always wants to be close to the community where it operates, close to the customer.

Handelsbanken has significant responsibilities and is committed to living up to them.

Highlights

  • Business travel has gone down by 72% and paper consumption by 18% due to the COVID Pandemic
    • The number of video meetings has increased by 153%
  • Branches and central departments use an environmental checklist, which consists of concrete actions for reducing environmental impact
    • In the UK, as many as 44% meet all the requirements on the list
    • Increased recycling and reduced paper consumption are two areas that will have increased focus
  • Increased efficiency in the Bank’s computer rooms has reduced the need for premises by 1,000 square metres
  • In 2020, major steps were taken to reduce paper consumption
    • For example, more agreements can now be signed digitally
    • Since 2013, the number of paper communications to customers has reduced by 36%
  • Handelsbanken offered a climate course to almost 100 employees in various functions to build knowledge at asset management
    • Handelsbanken conducted a fully integrated follow-up of climate risks in the Sustainability Risk Forum which as of 2021 also includes passively managed funds and allocation funds
    • Discussions with companies with major negative climate impact have continued
    • Within the investor network, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC), they are participating in developing a new framework called PAII Net Zero Investment Framework for how investors can contribute to positive change in society, in line with the Paris Agreement
      • This framework will help to harmonise how investors act and communicate in relation to the Paris Agreement
  • Handelsbanken’s Sustainability Council has analysed the 17 Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) from the perspective of level of impact from their activities, products and services (directly and indirectly) and identifying risks from their most relevant sustainability issues
    • The result of the analyses implied six focus SDGs (5, 8, 9, 11, 13, 16)  to support their business strategy and to be integrated with their material sustainability issues

Targets

  • They support the Paris Agreement’s goal of transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050 by:
    • Lowering their direct emissions 
    • Offering responsible financing and investment products 
    • They have also set a group target for net zero emissions 2040
  • Responsible financing:
  • In 2025, 20% of the lending will be green or provide terms that contribute to a sustainable and measurable transition related to the borrower’s business activities and their focus on the SDGs
  • By the end of 2021 Handelsbanken will have set targets for 
  • A reduction of the level of emission intensity
  • An increased exposure to climate solutions 
  • A higher proportion of sustainable investments
  • By 2025 Handelsbanken will have an intensified impact dialogue
  • By the end of 2023 Handelsbanken will have set targets for their advisory services
  • Through the further development of advisory tools and education of their staff
  • Create conditions to support reducing the gap between men’s and women’s returns on investments

Progress

  • Responsible financing – existing green and sustainable financing products are adapted, working groups in the home markets have been or will be put in place for further product development
  • Responsible investments – the process of setting final targets is in progress 
  • Advisory services – working groups are in place, contacts for cooperation with the academic world and access to related existing research work has been taken and the required digital developments are under discussion
  • Alignment – increased focus of integration of sustainability in core business areas such as lending and savings, and in the bank’s own funding
  • Continued work to align disclosures of the entire group with TCFD
  • Continued work to support the Paris Agreement’s goal of transitioning to net zero emissions by 2050 by lowering their direct emissions and by offering responsible financing and investment products to reach their group target of net zero emissions by 2040 
  • Impact and Target-setting – Handelsbanken performed impact analyses to identify their main impact areas, positive and negative aspects – identified such areas – and set targets based on their analyses
  • Customer and Clients – initiated external discussions with customers on further development of green and sustainable lending products – internal discussions of optimisation of targets in savings and investment advice 
  • Stakeholders – consulted and planned to engage in a more formal way with a number of stakeholders for developing and implementing the targets 
  • Governance and Culture – set up structures for the development and progress of the targets in the entire organisation – further developed mandatory training in sustainability for integration in each employees daily work

Certificates

UN Sustainable Development Goals

UN SDGs Compliance

SDG 5: Gender Equality

  • Handelsbanken Fonder appointed women to 71% of the nomination committees they served on in 2020. They believe that this gives them a sound footing to increase the momentum towards achieving gender-equal boards, but they remain humble, considering the size of the task

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • In Sweden, pension advisory services at local branches and the option of meeting a specialist online have been supplemented with a new tool – Pension Guide in the mobile app

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

  • Handelsbanken funds a professorial chair in accounting at the Stockholm School of Economics and provides financial support to the Swedish House of Finance (SHoF), a national research centre, the purpose of which is to boost financial research in Sweden and promote a dialogue between the private and public sectors

SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • Handelsbanken offers green mortgage loans for private individuals in Sweden. They hope to raise the level of interest in living in environmentally certified housing and to contribute to more properties improving their energy efficiency over time

SDG 13: Climate Action

  • Handelsbanken has twice issued green bonds, 2018 and 2020. The funding raised through the bond issue is used for green financing of projects and investments that promote a more sustainable society, for example, energy-efficient and environmentally certified buildings

SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

  • Knowledge is important if they are able to combat corruption and bribery
  • Over 90% of the Bank’s employees and managers have completed the annual mandatory training programme on combating money laundering, corruption and terrorist financing

Evaluation

The company sets specific targets for minimizing its carbon footprint. They also have some good certificates, noteworthy awards and listings, and align appropriately with several UN SDGs.

Handelsbanken’s involvement in the Panama Papers scandal resulted in them being fined for their violations in 2015. 

The company appears to be making some efforts to redeem its tarnished reputation, but still has a lot of room for improvement toward sustainability. 

They have set targets within their main business areas based on their Impact Analysis implemented so far.

In addition, the bank aims to continue improving their knowledge of the impact of their products and activities to maximise their positive contribution to the Paris Agreement, national and regional regulations as well as the SDGs and minimise any negative impact.

Therefore, this company has been rated a C.

Analyst Outlook: Neutral

The bank should continue making strides toward sustainability but must continue to do so in order to be considered a true leader in sustainability. 

Key Points

  • The Panama Papers scandal refers to a leak of millions of documents to the media by Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2016. It triggered a global scandal after showing how the rich and powerful allegedly used offshore companies to evade taxes. The papers accused several banks of breaching money laundering laws, including Swedish lenders Nordea and Handelsbanken. Both of these banks, however, were fined for these violations in 2015 and faced no further punishment after the Panama Papers were leaked to the media the following year.
  • Achieved a CDP rating of “B” for Climate Change in 2020
 
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