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Luminor Bank launches operations in the Baltics

Luminor headquarters in Tallinn.
Luminor headquarters in Tallinn. Source: (Rene Suurkaev/ERR)

On Sunday, Oct. 1, Luminor Bank, the product of a merger of Nordea and DNB's Baltic branches, launched operations, becoming the only bank to operate exclusively in all three Baltic countries, according to its directors.

In August 2016, Nordea and DNB reached an agreement to merge their Baltic operations into one new bank. That fall, Erkki Raasuke was named CEO of the new joint bank.

Luminor's main offices are located in Estonia, with branches located in Latvia and Lithuania as well.

According to Raasuke, banking will undergo marked changes in the coming decade.

"We are the only bank to focus solely on the Baltic countries," Raasuke said. "The rest are either Nordic banks who also operate in the Baltics or small banks who only operate on the local market. Our bank is deliberately very local; Luminor is very Latvian-centered in Latvia and Estonian-centered in Estonia."

According to the CEO, Luminor is simpler but with a more specific focus than its predecessors.

The bank also intends to list on the stock exchange.

Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania each has its own network of Luminor ATMs, but they are inconsistent by country. This ATM network should be unified within the next few months, however.

Raasuke believes that Luminor will resemble Nordea in its corporate banking and DNB in its personal banking, drawing on the respective strengths of each predecessor bank.

Luminor is the third largest financial service provider in the Baltics, whose holdings account for 16 percent and and loans 23 percent of their respective market shares. The merger of the two banks' Baltic operations created a customer base of 1.3 million.

Luminor's holdings are worth a total of €9 billion.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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