CEO Jose Antonio Alvarez i Grupo Santander(Banco Santander)

Svenska Handelsbanken AB (Handelsbanken) is aiming to become a more digitalised bank, and to that end, announced yesterday its plan to restructure its Swedish operations. We see the announced cuts as significant. There has been a rapid growth of digital finance, particularly in Sweden. While it makes sense to increase digital capabilities in this environment, we also think it is unclear how Handelsbanken’s customers might react given the magnitude of the reduction in branches and the competitive edge it derived from its branch network.

Handelsbanken Initiates a Significant Restructuring Program in Sweden to Increase its Digital Offering. Handelsbanken is to carry out a significant restructuring of its branch network and workforce in Sweden by reducing the total amount of Swedish branches by around 180 units compared to a
current total of 380 in Sweden, down by approximately 47%, and a reduction in employees by around 1,000 compared to the current total of 3,944, down by approximately 25%.

Styremedlem Jon Fredrik Baksaas i Handelsbanken fotografert utenfor Telenor på Fornebu i Oslo(Foto: Telenor)

Will Cut Costs

We note that these targets are high compared to other announced restructuring plans in Europe despite the lower pressure for Handelsbanken to cut costs as it has good efficiency levels relative to
its European peers, with a cost-to-income ratio overall stable and low in the past five years at around 45-50 per cent.

Italian and Spanish banks

Bank Country Staff Reduction Per Cent of Workforce Deadline(Source: Morningstar)

Deutsche Bank AG Germany 18,000 20% of total workforce 2022
UniCredit SpA Italy 8,000 9% of total workforce 2023
Commerzbank AG Germany 4,000 10% of total workforce 2023
Banco Santander SA Spain 3,000 10% of Spanish workforce
Svenska Handelsbanken AB Sweden 1,000 25% of Swedish workforce 2022

The stately owned Norwegian Oil Revenue Fund( Norwegien Managment Investment Fund) have invested 16,3 billion NOK in Banco Santander(Owns 2,7 per cent of the spanish Bank), and only NOK 102.000 in Svenska Handelsbanken. The NBIM have invested 7,7 billion NOK in italian UniCredit(Owing 2,67 per cent. In Deutsche Bank have the Norwegian fund invested 621.000 NOK owing only 0,44 per cent. We see that Norway is moving south investing in italian and spanish Banks. (Source: Nordic News). The largest Norwegian commercial Bank Den norske Bank is coming with its third quarter result thursday 22. nd october. The Covid19 problem has reached the norwegian bank sector DnB had closed his branch office at Fornebu( the old Air Port in Oslo) tuesday this week, according to the spreading desseasse, reports Nordic News.

CEO Christian Sewing In Deutsche Bank(Photo by

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