CHALLENGER bank Handelsbanken saw a steady improvement in profits in the UK in the third quarter, according to financial results published yesterday.
The Swedish lender’s acquisition of asset manager Heartwood boosted net fee and commission income by 92 per cent to SEK140m (£13.6m) in the first three quarters, on the same period of 2012.
That helped increase its third quarter UK operating profits by six per cent to SEK288m, compared with the same quarter a year ago.
But the acquisition also added costs – expenses increased 13 per cent to SEK428m in large part because of the branch office expansion.
Headcount rose 11 per cent to 1,332.
The bank now has 151 UK offices and has recruited managers to run another 14 branches.
“Putting full faith in our branch teams to take everyday decisions and serve their customers with care and common sense has given us our competitive edge here in Britain, particularly in recent year,” said UK chief Anders Bouvin.