Banks Show Stable Profits in Q1
Four out of five major banks in Estonia - besides the one pictured, SEB, Nordea, LHV and Danske are the others - have posted first-quarter profits at similar levels to the same period last year.
Swedbank, the largest retail bank in the nation, reported a profit of 39.4 million euros in the first quarter, down from 42.1 million earned in Q1 in 2013.
The bank said on Monday that they are earning less from loans due to low interest rates and they will pay dividends in Estonia this year, meaning a higher tax bill. The bank said they have improved operational efficiency.
SEB reported 21 million euros in profits, one million more than during the same period last year. Riho Unt, the head of the Estonian arm of the Swedish company, said they are very happy with the results, adding that any affects from the Ukraine crises have not yet hit Estonia.
Andreas Laane, head of Nordea's Estonian branch, said crossing over to SEPA has required investments, but the bank still reported 7.8 million euros in profits, nearly double what the bank declared in the first quarter of 2013.
The largest Estonian-owned bank, LHV, earned 1.7 million euros in the first quarter, slightly less than a year ago. Erkki Raasuke, a board member at LHV, said their loan portfolio has grown as have investments made through the bank by private customers.
Danske Bank will publish its results on May 2.