Handelsbanken is given permission to buy Bergensbanken

The acquisition of Bergensbanken increases Handelsbanken's total assets in Norway by over 50%. The number of customers will be over 100,000.

The Bank's market share in Bergen - the second largest city in Norway - will increase significantly to some 15%. Bergensbanken has six branches in Bergen. Handelsbanken already has one branch in Bergen.

<br>For further information please contact: <br> <br>Björn-Åke Wilsenius, Head of Handelsbanken Norway, <br>tel: +47 22 94 08 70 <br>Lars Lindmark, Head of Corporate Communications <br>tel: +46 8 22 92 20, mobile: +46 70 595 85 80 <br>

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