Latvian banks last year saw a boom in the use of electronic banking services, as the number of people using Internet, telephone and mobile banking services increased considerably. A spokesman for one of the three leading banks in Latvia, Hansabanka, said the number of Internet banking users surged by 126 percent in 2002 to 167,700, while the number of Mobile Bank (offering services in SMS format) users grew nearly fourfold to 58,300.
Telephone bank users increased by 130 percent to 155,000.
Latvijas Unibanka reported 34 percent growth of Internet banking users to 75,000 and 31 percent growth of telephone banking users to 4,800 in 2002.
Latvijas Krajbanka spokesman said last year 20,200 new clients started using its Internet banking service - Online banka - mostly as a result of a promotional campaign in the third quarter of the year.
Telephone banking services at Latvijas Krajbanka grew as much as 113 percent to 8,700 users in 2002, and since last May the bank has also started offering mobile bank services now used by 2,500 clients.
Parex Bank spokesman said the bank's Internet banking service, launched in late 2001, was now being used by 10,000 clients.