Outstanding loans to private persons in Estonia went up by a record 779 million kroons (50 million euros) in September. According to Eesti Pank, the country's central bank, this set a record since the previous figure of 613 million kroons in July 2003. By the end of September, Estonian banks had issued 17.1 billion kroons (1.1 billion euros) in loans to private persons, up by 46 percent from the same period last year. Total loans, which includes all borrowers, increased by 1 billion kroons to 60.8 billion kroons.
Over the past year the volume of deposits has increased by only 11 percent.
The Hansabank Group's board has set the goals for group operations until 2007 that aim to set the bank on a European path. According to a bank statement, the financial market has changed considerably since the bank adopted its previous four-year strategy in 1999 and that the bank's market share now exceeds 30 percent, and its customer base - 3.5 million people.
"The Baltic countries are set to join the European Union in 2004 and the monetary union a few years later. The convergence to the European financial markets is already well under way. It is therefore not sufficient anymore to be the best in the Baltic countries. We have to be competitive in the European context," the bank said in its statement.
The Bank of Lithuania said that it was working on an expanded version of the loan risk database used by commercial banks. The database will include all the legal entities that have borrowed more than 50,000 litas (15,000 euros), and its new version should be launched in March 2004. The present information on debtors will be supplemented with their financial data.