Bigbank grew by over 10 percent through the quarter
Bigbank, an Estonian bank with international reach, earned 6.4 million euros in profits in the first quarter of this year, increasing its volume of assets to nearly 1.3 billion euros for an increase of 10.3% in the quarter. The EUR 1 billion mark was also exceeded for loans issued as well as deposits received.
According to Martin Länts, Chairman of the Management Board of Bigbank, the bank experienced a steady growth in the first quarter, the war in Ukraine did not affect the operations significantly, and the financial results of the group were excellent. "The beginning of the war understandably jolted consumer behaviour, but the momentary instability has passed; nor does our loan portfolio include any significant assets affected by Russia, Belarus or Ukraine," Länts commented on the current situation.
According to Länts, the significant milestones reached by Bigbank in the first quarter of 2022 were increases in the volumes of both loans issued and deposits received. Both exceeded one billion euros by the end of the quarter, with an increase of 12.1% and 13.1% respectively as compared to the beginning of the year. "The quarterly results confirmed once again that Bigbank is an efficient and well-managed bank – our net interest income for the first quarter grew by 21% year-on-year and the profit for the period increased by 10.6% year-on-year," he added.
The increase in the volume of deposits held by the bank was supported by the launch of deposits on the Bulgarian market in March and by the fact that Bigbank increased its interest rates in Estonia, now offering the best rates in the Estonian bank deposits market. In terms of home loans, March marked an all-time high on both the Estonian and Latvian markets, and the bank as a whole achieved its best 1st quarter sales performance in all countries where home loans are offered (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). The total amount of home loans issued by the bank in the Baltic States increased by 344% in the first quarter as compared to the same period of the previous year and by 22% compared to the previous quarter.
In Estonia, the bank issued a record amount of special-schedule home loans, where the repayment of the principal can be postponed for years. The interest of home buyers in the special schedule has been particularly high due to both inflation awareness and Bigbank's decision to remove restrictions on the application process – loans are no longer limited to couples with children, but rather available to everyone.
Bigbank's corporate banking loan and lease portfolio increased by 4.3 times in the first quarter of this year – by 219.4 million euros (+330%) compared to the same period last year. The growth has been broad-based, covering all three Baltic countries. During the first quarter, the credit portfolio of the companies financed by the bank grew by 25%, amounting to 285.8 million euros as of 31.03.2022.
More than half of the corporate credit portfolio has been issued in Estonia, with the rest issued in Lithuania and Latvia. In the first quarter, investment loans with cash flow in the commercial real estate and agriculture and forestry sectors accounted for the largest share of the credit portfolio growth. The number of corporate car and equipment leasing customers increased by 32% in the first quarter. The growth in corporate leasing has been the fastest in the Lithuanian leasing market.
Bigbank is an Estonian commercial bank specialising in loans, whose balance sheet total exceeded one billion euros in 2021.
Chairman of the Management Board of Bigbank