OREANDA-NEWS. June 5, 2012. In the first quarter of this year, BIGBANK – a bank based on Estonian capital that has specialised on granting consumer loans – grew its loan portfolio by approximately 5% thanks to successful loan sales in the Finnish and Spanish branches.

During the quarter, the loan portfolio of BIGBANK Group grew by 8.6 million euros, i.e. 4.6%. The largest contribution to the growth of the loan portfolio was made by BIGBANK's Finnish and Spanish branches, where the volume of issued loans grew by 4.7 and 3.3 million euros, respectively. Meanwhile in Estonia, the volume of issued loans decreased by 2.8 million euros.

According to the Chairman of the Management Board of BIGBANK, Targo Raus, the bank's loan sales in the first quarter complied with BIGBANK's strategy that is aimed at expansion on foreign markets. "The Finnish branch has been successfully launched and we are gaining momentum also in Spain. In the first quarter of this year, we registered BIGBANK's Swedish branch and I estimate that, similarly to Finland, it has great prospects in the near future. At the same time we continue active operations also in the Baltic states," Raus said.

Net profit earned by the Group in the first quarter of 2012 amounted to 2.2 million euros. In comparison to the first quarter of 2011, net profit has increased by 0.8 million euros. The increase in the net profit was primarily affected by increase in interest income, which in turn is a result of the growth of the loan portfolio. Interest income in the first quarter reached 10.9 million euros, increasing in comparison to the same period of the previous year by 2.6 million euros.

In the first quarter, the volume of BIGBANK's total assets grew by 14.7 million euros, reaching 244.4 million euros as at the end of the quarter. The volume of liabilities reached 190.0 million euros, having grown during the quarter by 13.5 million euros. Term deposits continue to form the largest part of liabilities.

The payment behaviour of customers remained stable. The volume of BIGBANK's non-performing portfolio in the total loan portfolio decreased.

As at the end of March, BIGBANK employed a total of 572 people: 237 in Estonia, 144 in Latvia, 85 in Lithuania, 44 in Finland, 51 in Spain and 11 in Sweden. At the end of the quarter, the Group had 30 branch offices, of which 10 were located in Estonia, 7 in Latvia, 10 in Lithuania, 1 in Finland and 2 in Spain.

BIGBANK AS is a specialised credit institution based on Estonian capital, which has branches in Finland, Sweden, Latvia Lithuania and Spain. BIGBANK and provides its services on cross-border basis also in Austria, Germany and Netherlands.