Following several years’ steady growth for Handelsbanken in the Netherlands, the bank is now forming a regional bank in the country.
The Netherlands will also have the status of one of the bank’s home markets, alongside Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and the UK.
“We see major opportunities for continued growth here in the Netherlands. The market is similar to the UK, with a few large, centralised banks. We are opening branches and working close to the customer in a decentralised manner,” says Mikael Sørensen, head of Handelsbanken’s operations in the Netherlands.
Handelsbanken has been active in the Netherlands for more than 10 years. The first branch with services for local customers opened five years ago. Today, Handelsbanken has 15 branches in the country: from Groningen in the north to Maastricht in the south, and from Twente in the east to Rotterdam and Amsterdam in the west.
“Our business model works well in the Netherlands. We attract good customers whose finances are in good order. They like the fact that we do not have bonuses or sales targets. They want to be able to go into their local branch to get help with anything from mortgages to larger transactions. The personal contact they have with us is very much appreciated,” says Sørensen.
Handelsbanken currently has 105 employees in the Netherlands. At year-end 2012, lending to corporate and private customers totalled SEK14bn.
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