Bigbank annual results: group assets grew by 52% and profit by 69%
According to the unaudited financial results for 2021, the volume of assets of Bigbank, the Estonian bank specializing in loans, increased 52 percent year on year to 1.15 billion euros, driven by housing and corporate lending in Estonia and abroad. The total profit for the year increased 69 percent to 35.8 million euros.
Commenting the results for 2021, Martin Länts, Chairman of the Management Board of Bigbank, said: "Our strategy is to offer competition to other banks on the market of consumer loans, housing loans and corporate loans. It's a strategy that we implement already in nine countries. Since Bigbank specializes in loans, we provide attractive loan terms as shown by the constant growth of our market share and do it very efficiently as evidenced by the high return of equity."
Länts added that in comparison with universal banks, Bigbank has low cost base and its customers' payment behavior is above average which means small loan losses. "We also lack a wide and costly office network and have for years focused on providing our services digitally, using our internally generated banking software Nest."
Behind the rapid growth of Bigbank on the Estonian housing loan market are favorable loan terms and a housing loan with a special schedule that is unique in Estonia. The special schedule enables the home buyer, for instance, to pay only interest in the first ten years and postpone principal payments to a later date. In 2021, Bigbank started offering housing loans also in Latvia and Lithuania as well as car lease for private customers in Lithuania.
According to Martin Länts, major contribution to the Group business volumes came from the corporate banking business that has become a good loan partner to many companies in all Baltic States. Sales of corporate loans and leasing in Bigbank increased 158% in 2021, growing almost six times faster than the Estonian market. The Group's gross portfolio of corporate loans and leasing increased 269 percent year on year and the limit of corporate loans was raised to 30 million euros. The most important innovation last year was the launch of a loan for agricultural and forest land in Estonia and Latvia.
The international expansion of Bigbank last year culminated with the opening of a Bigbank office in Bulgaria and launch of consumer loans in the Bulgarian market. Today, Bigbank is the only fully digital bank in Bulgaria. "In spite of our 30-year-history, we are technologically a very modern bank. We don’t try to do everything, but the things that we do, we do very well," concluded Martin Länts.