By Dominic Chopping


STOCKHOLM--Svenska Handelsbanken said Tuesday that it will cease operating in Denmark and Finland and is beginning a process to divest its operations in the countries.

The bank said that together, Denmark and Finland account for 10% of group income, 13% of costs and 8% of operating profit and it sees little opportunity to scale up its offering without significant investment.

"From a commercial perspective, we want to have a presence in those locations offering the best conditions for profitable growth and a strong market position," said Handelsbanken Chief Executive Carina Akerstrom.

"With this decision, we are strengthening the bank's ambitions in our primary markets: Sweden, Norway and the U.K.," she said.

Handelsbanken said the synergies of running banking operations with lower volumes in disparate geographical locations have decreased as new regulatory frameworks have been introduced, meaning the bank now needs central staff functions and infrastructure in each market.

Handelsbanken's business in the Netherlands is more focused on real-estate finance and asset management and from Jan. 1, 2022, it will become a part of its capital-markets unit, together with Luxembourg and New York, it said.

The bank also announced third-quarter earnings, posting a net profit of SEK5.19 billion against SEK4.58 billion seen in a FactSet consensus forecast.


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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 19, 2021 13:17 ET (17:17 GMT)

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