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BIGBANK Expanded to Sweden and Netherlands
14 MARCH, 2012

BIGBANK, specialised on consumer loans and celebrating its 20th year of activity this Autumn, entered the markets of Sweden and Netherlands, in total the company is active in 9 countries.

A branch of BIGBANK began operating in Sweden, which after the Baltics, Finland and Spain is already the fifth official branch of the bank. In February, the branch also issued its first loans. As of the beginning of March, 11 people were working for BIGBANK’s Swedish branch.

In the Netherlands’ market, as in Germany and Austria, BIGBANK is operating by providing a cross-border service. This means that BIGBANK does not have branches or employees in these countries, but clients are served primarily via electronic channels directly from Estonia. However, BIGBANK’s activity has been registered in the supervisory authorities of the local country and is fully compliant with the requirements of the European Union and the corresponding country.

The Chairman of the Management Board of BIGBANK Group, Targo Raus, noted that the short-term goal for BIGBANK, after having entered a total of six new markets in the last four years, is to ensure efficient functioning of the company on all markets. “Geographic expansion certainly sets a challenge to BIGBANK’s development as an organisation, but, on the other hand, it significantly spreads our operating risks arising from changes in the economic environment, also it is already showing a positive impact to our economic results,” Raus added.

According to the consolidated financial results of 2011, BIGBANK's loan portfolio reached 185.9 million euros by the end of the year, increasing by 23.6% during the year. BIGBANK increased its operations in all markets, but the largest contribution to the growth was given by the Finnish branch that began offering loans in 2010 as its loan portfolio grew more than two-fold, to 30.6 million euros by the end of the year. In 2011, BIGBANK earned 5.7 million euros of profit, which is 7.7.% more than in 2010.

BIGBANK, celebrating its 20th year of activity this year, is a credit institution based on Estonian capital with a main office in Tartu, Estonia. In 2011, the number of employees of the bank active in 9 countries across Europe grew by 54 people. By the end of the year the group employed a total of 531 employees in 5 countries, including 220 people is Estonia. The number of customer service offices reached 30, of those 10 in Estonia, 7 in Latvia, 10 in Lithuania, 1 in Finland and 2 in Spain.