At the end of 2000 Hansapank Group had over 205,000 on-line customers in the Baltics. The group hopes to have 250,000 on-line customers in Estonia, 60,000 in Latvia and 4,000 in Lithuania by the end of 2001, according to the document on the group's strategy for 2001.
The newly appointed IT chief of Hansapank, Olli Heinonen, said that as long as the bulk of Hansapank's business was in Estonia most of the group's IT investments probably would go to working out solutions in Estonia.
At the same time, provided that the purchase of the Lithuanian savings bank Lietuvos Taupomasis Bankas,, is carried through, much attention must be paid to integrating the Lithuanian bank's IT side with Hansapank's, Heinonen said.
Plans for Hansabanka, the Latvian subsidiary, suggest continued aggressive growth coupled with stepped-up lending, which Hansapank CEO Indrek Neivelt said means less a record increase in the loan portfolio and more improvement in product development and training.
The goal of Hansabankas, the group's Lithuanian subsidiary, is to substantially increase its market share, to which the acquisition of the savings bank would give a major boost.
Although Neivelt wouldn't predict when the LTB privatization talks could be finished, he expressed hope that the Lithuanian government's goal of bringing talks to a conclusion by mid-February will become a reality.
Hansapank, the largest bank in the Baltic countries, is owned by Swedish Swedbank, which controls 57 percent of its shares.