Danske Bank may announce its exit from Baltic States

Danske Bank Group’s office in Lithuania may announce on Thursday, 27 April, its plans to leave Lithuania and, possibly, the Baltic States, as BNS news agency’s Lithuanian branch was told by two sources.

According to the news agency, Danske Bank customer service centre in Vilnius will continue functioning.

Danske Bank does not comment on this situation. Vaida Bičkute, press-secretary of the bank’s Lithuanian branch, only said that the bank will announce its financial results for Q1 this Thursday. «Other than that I have nothing to comment,» she added.

In 2016, Danske Bank stopped providing services to private persons. These services in Lithuania and Latvia were delegated to Swedbank Group. It is entirely possible Danske Bank may delegate its corporate client services to this group as well, as reported by BNS.

Neither Finance Capital and Market Commission nor Danske Bank’s Latvian branch commented information regarding any possible plans to leave Baltic States, LETA reports.

Zane Strade, manager of Danske Bank’s communication office in Latvia, mentioned on Wednesday, 25 April, that she would not comment on this information.

FCMC representative Ieva Upleja told the agency that the bank’s plans to leave Latvia’s market can neither be confirmed nor denied. «We respect the market participant’s rights. Until the bank reports such information on its own, I am not authorized to say anything,» says Upleja.

As it is known, asset-wise Danske Bank in Latvia was the ninth largest bank in 2017, according to data from the Latvian Commercial Banks Association. Danske Bank has been in Latvia since 2008. The bank provides services to corporate clients and private persons associated with them.

Profits of Danske Bank in Latvia, according to provisional data were EUR 1.7 million, which would be around three times less when compared to 2016, as the bank’s representatives reported this February. Danske Bank had attracted EUR 184.8 million in deposits at the end of last year. This is 31% less than a year before. The volume of loans issued by the bank over the course of the year had grown 21% in 2017, reaching EUR 363.6 million at the end of December.

«In 2017 we continued strengthening cooperation with our business clients. The volume of loans provided to our corporate clients increased by 21% in 2017. Income from base operations grew 17%,» said Danske Bank’s Latvian branch manager Raivis Kakānis.

He also mentioned that it was planned to make the last step on the road towards unifying service and information systems in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia in March by forming a unified platform Danske Bank for all three Baltic States.

Estonia’s Financial Inspectorate suspects Danske Bank’s Estonian office of providing misleading information. The inspectorate reports that inspections were performed in Danske Bank’s Estonian office in February. Inspectors uncovered lasting and systematic violations of money laundering prevention measures.

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