February 18, 2019 / 9:19 AM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Handelsbanken picks Carina Akerstrom as new CEO as Bouvin retires

(Adds details, background, shares)

STOCKHOLM, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Handelsbanken said on Monday it had appointed bank veteran Carina Akerstrom as its new chief executive officer, replacing Anders Bouvin, who is retiring.

Bouvin has been under pressure over issues such as rising costs and credit losses in the bank’s British arm.

Handelsbanken shares, which fell 0.5 percent in early trade on Monday, are down roughly 12 percent over the past year.

Akerstrom, who becomes the bank’s first female chief executive, would take up her new position at Handelsbanken’s annual general meeting on March 27, the bank said.

“The choice of Carina Akerstrom rests on a very solid, stable foundation, in view of her track record and excellent results over a long period of time,” Handelsbanken Chairman Par Boman said in a statement.

Akerstrom was first employed at Handelsbanken in 1986 and has since 2016 been the Deputy Group CEO.

The bank, which is carrying out an efficiency programme as it digitalises its operations, proposed this month a much lower dividend than expected for 2018.

Handelsbanken’s total income increased by 5 percent to 43.8 billion Swedish crowns ($4.7 billion) in 2018, while its total costs rose by 10 percent.

($1 = 9.2571 Swedish crowns)

Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom and Helena Soderpalm Editing by Edmund Blair

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