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Handelsbanken quits Baltics

“Profitability is too low, while costs are too high.”

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A brief press release from the Sweden-based bank cites the poor profitability as a main reason to “gradually wind down the operations during 2020” in the capitals of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Tried in vain

“Despite the implementation of efficiency-enhancing measures, the operations in the region have not performed satisfactorily,” it explains.

According to the bank, the Baltic operations have been in place for ten years. It was established to support Handelsbanken’s home market customers with their activities in the region.

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Swedbank and SEB stay big

This is notably different from the strategies of Swedish bank competitors Swedbank and SEB. These dominate the lending market in the Baltic region, and have essentially been asked by Estonian authorities to stay despite discussions of money-laundry involvement.

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