1. Sustainability
  2. /
  3. Our role in society

Our role in society

A bank that acts sustainably and responsibly has a substantial positive impact on society in general.
people in the street

In the community

The branch is central

In Handelsbanken, the local branch office is responsible for all the Bank’s business conducted in its area. This decentralised way of working gives us the chance to really know our customers and the community. It also makes us a central part of each community we operate in, and gives us the opportunity to contribute in various ways to those communities. 

Human rights

Respect for human rights is essential to long-term value creation for us at Handelsbanken. We support and respect the protection of human rights in all of our operations. Examples of conventions and principles which are relevant to us are the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. As part of this, we have chosen to integrate a number of the sustainable development goals into our operations. 

A wide branch network

In our six home markets of Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the UK we have extensive branch networks. In addition, we are present in other markets to support customers from our home markets. 


For us at Handelsbanken, tax is an important sustainability topic. Our actions regarding tax-related matters must be responsible and transparent and comply with prevailing laws and regulations, and high ethical standards must always be observed. We pay taxes and government fees in countries where we operate. Our policy for sustainability is a starting point for work with tax-related matters in Handelsbanken. We also have guidelines that describe our coordinated management, governance and follow-up of tax-related matters.

Financial crime

At Handelsbanken we have a Group-wide department dedicated to preventing financial crime. All employees of Handelsbanken, regardless of where they work in the Group, are obliged to follow the Bank’s regulations concerning conflicts of interest. We have established several policies to help us stop and prevent financial crime. We have chosen not to conduct business with customers or businesses where the risk is considered high that the bank will be used for financial crime. We also have routines and frameworks for dealing with conflicts of interest and corruption.

diagram Total taxes and government fees 2018
diagram, withheld tax

Services for the public good

Educating through EFN

We continuously work to create the best possible conditions for our customers to make better financial decisions. We want to be a source of information for matters great and small. Through the news channel EFN we offer the public daily updates and a broader perspective on financial and social issues. EFN is an independent source of journalism that since 2013 has been broadcasting programmes in three areas: financial news, personal finance and financial markets.

Children's app

In Denmark and Sweden we launched a children’s app as a way to help parents teach their children how to manage money. The app works like a digital piggy bank which allows children to learn about savings and pocket money in a playful way. In 2018, the app was awarded best app in Sweden.


Through the years we have engaged in several collaborations and initiatives that we believe change our society for the better, both directly and indirectly. These involvements gives us an even bigger opportunity to promote children’s rights, stop climate change, act against corruption and to share our Economic expertise.
These important collaborations reflect what we at Handelsbanken stand for.
Man och kvinna cyklar över en bro

Sustainability within the Bank 

Our sustainability work encompasses the whole of the Group’s operations in all markets.