Banks in Sweden

Banks in Sweden

In December 2022, Sweden had a total of 123 banks.

In December 2022, Sweden had a total of 123 banks. They can be divided into four main categories: commercial banks, foreign banks, savings banks and co-operative banks. 

The number of commercial banks and foreign bank branches in Sweden has increased from 66 in 2012 to 77 in 2022. The increase has occurred above all among Swedish commercial banks, when several credit market institutions have transformed into commercial banks, but also when European banks have opened bank branches in Sweden.

Commercial banks

Commercial banks are divided into three groups. The largest are the three big Swedish banks: Swedbank, Handelsbanken and SEB. These banks are important actors on most segments of the financial market. The second group consists of savings banks that have been converted into joint stock companies, often with Swedbank as a shareholder. 

The third group constitutes other Swedish commercial banks with a diverse business focus and ownership structure. The majority of the other commercial banks were formed from the mid-1990s onwards. The first banks to be established were focused on the retail banking market and distributed their products and services through telephone and online, but also through, for example, retail stores. There are later examples of new banks with a background in securities trading and several new banks with a background in the financing business.

The newly established banks have, in the course of time, increased the selection of financial products and many of these are today regarded as full-service banks for private customers.

Foreign banks

The first foreign bank was established in 1986, when foreign banks were first allowed to open subsidiaries in Sweden. In the space of a few years, in connection with the financial crisis in the beginning of the 1990s, the number of foreign banks declined. Foreign banks were permitted to open branches in 1990 and, since then, they started to increase again.

In December 2022, the foreign banks amounted to 36. After Nordea moved its headquarters to Finland in October 2018, the bank became by far the largest foreign bank in Sweden. Danske Bank is the second largest foreign bank in Sweden. Nordea and Danske Bank have services and products for all types of customers. Most other foreign banks focus on the corporate banking and securities market.

Savings banks

There are numerous independent savings banks in Sweden and they are active in regional or local markets. Most savings banks operate in co-operation with Swedbank as regards technical solutions and the provision of a common range of products and services. The number of savings banks declined for several years due to small savings banks having merged.

Co-operative banks

A co-operative bank is an economic association that has as a purpose to produce bank services for its members. To be able to use the bank services of a co-operative bank, a customer must become a member by paying a member share. There are two small co-operative banks in Sweden.


Number of banks in Sweden​​

TYPE OF BANK 2022 (Dec) 2012 (Dec)
Swedish commercial banks 41 37
    - of which are big banks 3 4
    - of which former savings banks 15 14
    - of which other Swedish commercial banks 23 19
Foreign banks 36 29
    - of which subsidiaries 0 2
    - of which branches  36 27
Savings banks 44 49
Co-operative banks 2 2


123 117

Source: The Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority