Sweden’s Handelsbanken is about to chop its department community by practically half, however plan to speculate closely in IT to supply clients digital alternate options.
The bank mentioned it is going to cut back its department community from 380 to about 200 by the tip of subsequent yr. On the similar time, the bank mentioned it is going to make investments SEK1bn (€87m) “in IT to take its digital customer offering to an entirely new level”.
About 1,000 jobs in Sweden can be lower as a part of the plan that may see working prices lowered.
Handelsbanken mentioned that, regardless of the department discount, it will likely be enabling clients that use remaining branches to do extra inside 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 mentioned in an announcement.
The choice to implement the change got here after the results of the Swedish a part of the assessment of all the Bank’s enterprise operations, introduced final yr. These modifications will assist the bank decrease its working prices.
Negotiations and consultations with the 1,000 employees set to lose their jobs are taking place now with commerce unions. “Our ambition – as always at Handelsbanken – is to manage redundancies with care and respect for individual employees,” mentioned the bank’s CEO, Carina Åkerström.
The shuttering of branches by banks has been happening for years as they try to chop prices and transfer folks into digital channels.
The projected capital spending by Nordic banks, primarily directed at particular investments in digital, synthetic intelligence (AI) and robotics, is anticipated to exceed €1bn by 2024, in accordance with a Nordic Council’s Financial Board prediction.
The rising presence of digital banks and monetary know-how (fintech) corporations throughout Nordic markets is forcing the massive Nordic banks to develop into modern reasonably than passive, and ramp up their technology-capacities.
The Covid-19 pandemic will speed up the transfer to digital channels and conventional bank department networks and employees can be impacted. Covid-19 lockdowns internationally, which noticed bank branches closed and restrictions placed on their exercise after they reopened, have pushed many shoppers to digital banking companies reasonably than branches.
Whereas contactless funds, cellular cash administration and cellular funds have elevated in quantity, banks have additionally provided face-to-face companies through video hyperlink to clients who need human interplay when making monetary selections.
Using cash has additionally plummeted. In line with a survey of two,000 folks from Nationwide Constructing Society, the typical respondent has gone greater than six weeks with out utilizing cash.
Digital funds are unsurprisingly growing, with many individuals utilizing them for the primary time. Lockdown has compelled 27% of respondents to make use of cellular funds and 25% to make use of on-line or cellular banking for the primary time.