Handelsbanken seizing more of market as UK deposits double

Tim Wallace
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CHALLENGER bank Handelsbanken more than doubled its depositors base in the UK in the year to March, its latest financial report showed yesterday.

Cash saved in the Swedish bank’s British accounts soared by 126 per cent to £6.4bn by the end of the first quarter of the year.

At the same time UK lending increased 14 per cent to £12.5bn.

Business lending makes up most of that level, increasing nine per cent on the year to £8.8bn.

The remainder is made up of fast-growing mortgage lending – its home loans book shot up by 27 per cent to £3.8bn.

The UK unit’s revenues increased 37 per cent, while profits climbed 32 per cent to 381m Swedish Krona (£34.7m).

Handelsbanken now has 173 branches in Britain.

The Swedish group overall reported post-tax profits of 3.9bn Swedish Krona, up 13 per cent on the year. Its revenues increased eight per cent to 9.5bn Swedish Krona, outstripping group expenses which increased two per cent to 4.2bn Swedish Krona, the results showed.

The group’s return on equity improved from 13.3 per cent a year ago to 14.1 per cent in the first quarter.

And its loan loss ratio held steady at 0.07 per cent.

Handelsbanken’s Swedish shares edged down 0.28 per cent in Stockholm yesterday.