Founded in 1871 by several former directors of Stockholms Enskilda Bank, its home markets are Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, and the UK. Capital Markets is the hub of expertise within asset management, investment banking, financial institutions, and global banking. It also has operations in Luxembourg, and the United States to support its customers from its home markets. Handelsbanken is listed on the Swedish stock exchange.
Handelsbanken acknowledges that its financing activities have both positive and negative impacts. It also identified and prioritised its impacts through a materiality assessment process, including external stakeholders’ feedback. With regard to gender equality and diversity, the bank has achieved gender balance on its board of directors, where seven out of 13 members are women. Moreover, it discloses the ratio of basic salary and remuneration of women to men in its operations for all employees, managers, and branch managers.
As a member of Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) and Climate Action 100+, the bank has set a target of net-zero financed emissions by 2050 and collectively engages with its clients on the topic of climate change. It also discloses the monetary amount devoted to its green finance projects which also include sustainable forestry and water and waste management credits. In addition, Handelsbanken provides evidence that it collectively engages with companies to which it provides financial services on the topic of palm oil.
Handelsbanken discloses the proportion of its total direct operations workforce for each employee category by age group and gender, as well as the proportion of workers covered by collective bargaining agreements. It has a publicly available policy statement in which it commits to respecting the health and safety of workers and a grievance mechanism accessible to all workers to raise human rights complaints or concerns. Furthermore, the bank discloses a global tax strategy and income tax payments for all its tax jurisdictions. Handelsbanken specifies that it does not make political contributions.
Handelsbanken could link the remuneration of its executive or management team to sustainability performance criteria and provide a commitment to women’s empowerment. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Handelsbanken has a group-level engagement approach on sustainability themes and impact topics, though the bank’s asset management arm discloses the details about its engagement process with investees.
The bank has an opportunity to disclose the key sectors and companies it has identified as priorities to engage with on climate change, specifically regarding alignment with the Paris Agreement. Although the bank’s Green Bond Framework has been developed in line with the Green Bond Principles, it could align its green credit with internationally recognised frameworks. Regarding nature and biodiversity, Handelsbanken has an opportunity to make a commitment to minimise its negative impacts.
While Handelsbanken states that it respects the protection of human rights, this does not cover all its activities. It has an opportunity to describe a comprehensive process for identifying its human rights risks and impacts across all its activities, especially its financing activities. While the bank provides a grievance mechanism, it could specify that the mechanism is accessible to external stakeholders in addition to its workers. To provide transparency on financial inclusivity, Handelsbanken could disclose the amount of finance directed towards women-owned businesses, small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) or low-income developing countries.
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Net income: SEK 47.41 billion; Total assets: SEK 3.35 trillion