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November 2020 - January 2021

Swedish bank cuts branches and jobs, increases IT spend

Sweden’s Handelsbanken is set to cut its branch network by nearly half, but plan to invest heavily in IT to offer customers digital alternatives. The bank said it will reduce its branch network from 380 to about 200 by the end of next year. At the same time, the bank said it will invest SEK1bn (€87m) “in IT to take its digital customer offering to an entirely new level”. About 1,000 jobs in Sweden will be cut as part of the plan that will see operating costs reduced. Handelsbanken said that, despite the branch reduction, it will be enabling customers that use remaining branches to do more within them. “Handelsbanken is now strengthening its presence at the branches to meet the demands of, for example, corporate customers and private banking customers. This will be achieved through the granting of an even greater degree of decision-making authority and increased accessibility to specialist expertise, although in fewer locations,” the bank said in a statement. The decision to implement the change came after the result of the ...

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