With Handelsbanken, anyone gets customer service which is comparable than what private banking departments usually give to their customers (think of the kind of service billionaires get when they call their banker). For instance as a private client you you do not have wait in line for hours at the bank office or to call anonymous call centers. You get a contact person at the bank that knows you and that can do a whole lot for you without any paperwork. You can call him or her during working hours to have him or her transfer money between accounts, or order a new credit card, or get your bank statement. This person is also your contact for your loans, your pension plan, your savings, your insurances. So you have your own personal banker working for you! But if you do not like to talk, they are fine with this as their iPhone / iPad / web app rank among the bests in the European banking industry.
Another specificity of Handelsbanken: they take little to no risk. They only lend mortgages to people who can pay back their loans, and they do not pursue speculative proprietary trading on the markets. Do you remember the trading scandals of the last years in the major investment banks? This kind of things cannot happen at Handelsbanken. All the other banks in Scandinavia find Handelsbanken boring because they are so risk-adverse. But the truth is Handelsbanken beats them all in terms of profitability And moreover Handelsbanken never lost money or asked for government help during the past 30 years. This is quite unique in the banking sector !
In terms of figures, it goes well for Handelsbanken's profitability They produced the best risk-adjusted return in the European banking sector for the period 2007-2012 according to Bloomberg (read articles here and here), and you can see on the chart below that the return of their stock is well above that of the US index Dow Jones (Handelsbanken's shares did +33% last year).
Also note that Handelsbanken's stock can be traded in the US markets under the ticker SVNLY, so you do not need to open an overseas account to trade it. check the following link to be redirected to the google finance page of the stock. So Handelsbanken is definitely a stock to buy online !