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Sweden's biggest bank says cost cuts to hit 1,000 employees

[STOCKHOLM] Svenska Handelsbanken unveiled cost cuts that will affect about 1,000 employees at Sweden's biggest bank.

The Stockholm-based lender plans to almost halve its branch network, which has long been a hallmark of its business model, according to a statement on Wednesday. At the same time, management will invest about one billion kronor (S$154.8 million) in technology, it said.

"These changes will help us to lower our costs," Handelsbanken said. Overall, the measures are expected to result in a decline of one billion kronor in the bank's income, it said.

"The downsizing of the workforce will affect around 1,000 employees in Sweden over the next two years, not including the measures announced in autumn 2019," the bank said. "Negotiations and consultations are being initiated immediately with the relevant trade unions."

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