Bigbank to enter Bulgarian market
Estonian-owned Bigbank will enter the Bulgarian market next year, thus extending its operations to a total of nine European countries.
“We have obtained the permits for establishing and operating a branch from both the Estonian Financial Supervision Authority and the Bulgarian National Bank and are planning to become active in Bulgaria as of January 2021,” said Martin Länts, Chairman of the Board of Bigbank. “We will first offer Bulgarian private clients consumer credit products and are planning to supplement these with private client deposits in the near future. The goal is to become the number one provider of digital financial services in Bulgaria in the next five years.”
According to the bank manager, banks with great digital capability are still mostly an exception in Bulgaria. “We will become active in Bulgaria fully digitally, i.e. clients will be able to do everything without leaving their home, which is currently still rare in Bulgaria. We consider this as one of our competitive advantages and taking into account the spread of coronavirus, it makes an important difference to clients in terms of both convenience and safety,” Länts added.
According to Länts, the decision to expand into a new country was not made overnight and geographical expansion of business activities is part of the bank’s long-term strategy along with actively increasing the bank’s market share in its current countries of operation. “We performed a thorough analysis of several European Union member states and decided to opt for Bulgaria, mainly because of the great potential of its financial market. The spread of coronavirus has forced Bulgarian banks out of their comfort zone and to increase their digital capability, but I find that we can beat them with our technological solutions and thus win the market from them,” said Länts.
Bigbank AS (www.bigbank.ee) is an Estonian-owned specialist bank focusing on private and business loans and deposits, which has branches in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Bulgaria and also offers its products as a cross-border service in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands.
Martin Länts, Chairman of the Board of Bigbank AS