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Estonian banks lead in profitability

Jan 17, 2014
From wire reports, TALLINN

Estonian banks are the most profitable in the European Union, considering their asset volume, which bank managers say is the result of skilful management and not greed, reports Aripaev Online.

Aripaev studied the European Central Bank statistics that compares the average business results of European Union states. Based on the freshest report, data from 2012, Estonian banks are in first position among the 28 states of the EU in return on equity capital (ROE), which was over 14 percent.

Estonian banks also score better than other EU states in cost-revenue ratio - for example, while Estonian banks spent nearly 44 cents to earn revenue of 1 euro, Swedish banks spent nearly 56 cents and the majority of EU states are behind Sweden.

Swedbank manager Priit Perens estimates that the competition in Estonian banking is tough and pricing is justified. SEB bank manager Riho Unt said that their aim is to pursue long-term business in Estonia, not wear out the market.

Anderas Laane, who will start managing the third biggest bank, Nordea's Estonian branch office in February, says that speaking of greed in this context is more like fishing for a conflict than anything else.

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