The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

How Handelsbanken reclaimed its status as the post-crisis ideal

International diversification counts for little in a pandemic, so shares in Sweden’s Handelsbanken have done better than most other lenders in Europe – but its loan book faces a stern test.


If any European lender has had a good 2020 so far, it’s Handelsbanken.

Sweden’s second biggest bank was the ideal of a more cautious, consistent and focused business model after the 2008 and eurozone crises. Now, it’s back in vogue, as investors are again favouring simpler European lenders over more complex, global firms.

Read all Euromoney coronavirus coverage

Handelsbanken is the continent’s highest valued bank stock by price-to-book, according to Berenberg. By mid-June, its shares had performed better in 2020 than any other bank stock in Europe except Deutsche Bank and UBI Banca, neither of which have much cause to boast.

Perhaps this should come as no surprise.

“We’re seen as a safe haven during turbulent times,” says Lars Höglund, Handelsbanken’s head of investor relations.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?