RIGA - Signet Bank shareholders see some banks in the Latvian market for perspective mergers, the bank's board chairman Roberts Idelsons said in an interview with LETA.
"We have assessed not only Expobank, and in the future we see a consolidation potential [with other banks]," said Idelsons.
The merger with Expobank will be concluded until fall. The bank's assets will amount to about EUR 420 million after the merger.
Asked why a decision was made to purchase the whole bank, not just the asset portfolio, for example, Idelsons said that Expobank owner wanted to sell the whole bank and leave the market. Also, Signet Bank saw positive aspects in the merger of infrastructure and teams of both banks.
"Latvian banking sector has four large players, then there is Rietumu Bank and BluOr Bank (formerly, BlueOrange Bank) who are also quite big. Then there is a group of smaller banks with Signet Bank being the biggest of them. It is clear that consolidation of these smaller banks is necessary because their size is not sufficient for return of the growing administrative costs. Not all banks are doing well with their business model changes after 2018. Therefore, we see that there is a potential for further consolidation, and we are interested and able to promote this consolidation," he said.
Idelsons said that after the merger with Expobank, Signet Bank's main direction will still include service of Latvian businessmen and their medium-sized companies.
"We are an alternative for the large and maybe slightly bureaucratic banks because we are more dynamic, offering a broader range of services in attracting funding. Recently, we have had good results in organizing bonds emissions, and capital market definitely is our priority. We see quite a large potential in the segment," he said.
Signet Bank was established in 1992 under the name Latvian Business Bank. Since 2013, the bank operated under the name of Bank M2M Europe. Its strategy was focused on servicing international high net worth clients. In September 2017, the bank was renamed to Signet Bank as Signet Global Investors Limited, Hansalink and Fin.lv became its principal owners.
At the end of 2021, Signet Bank's assets, according to preliminary data, were worth EUR 356.769 million and its profit reached EUR 2.942 million.
At the end of 2021, Signet Bank was Latvia's eighth largest bank by assets.