Estonian-owned Holm Bank, which to date has focussed on servicing small-business operators, is set to expand its service to medium-sized and large companies, offering loans of more than 500,000 euros.
CEO Rauno Klettenberg says that this new step in the business-client segment was motivated by the capital needed for larger loans becoming available to the bank and due to the changes in the financial environment brought about by the coronavirus crisis.
“We’ve built up our portfolio of deposits not just on the Estonian market, but by taking on the assets of Austrian and German clients as well,” he explained. “That’s why the sharp rise in consumption here in Estonia hasn’t eaten away at our capital, but in fact boosted it further – compared to this time last year, our deposit portfolio has grown by 25.5% while our loan portfolio has grown by 12.5%, which means we’re able to start offering bigger loans.”
Klettenberg says that the bank is willing to weigh up business projects in a variety of sectors. He sees the greatest potential in the industrial sector, where the need for more efficient production equipment is most keenly felt due to rising input prices.
“Most of the industrial-sector business projects that have been submitted to us have been valued at a few hundred thousand euros,” he said. “But now we’re able to offer financing for more ambitious plans for which companies need over half a million euros, or even more. We’ve seen that the changes in the economy are encouraging a lot of companies to revive their development plans, which have been on the back burner for the last couple of years, and we’re ready to contribute to the achievement of those plans.”
Holm Bank will continue to finance small-business projects, since Klettenberg says that boosting the competitive ability of small companies – especially those operating outside of large population centres – is something the bank considers important, both now and in the future.
“Since we ourselves started out as small business in Haapsalu 26 years ago, we know you have to look at companies and their prospects more widely than just focussing on their financial results for the last few years,” he said. “That’s particularly true today – if a company has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve your trust in reorganising their business. Holm’s strength has always been our willingness and ability to approach every project individually, getting a personal loan manager involved in analysing and consulting on every business plan and helping to find solutions to reduce risks so that the project is a success.”
Holm Bank AS is an Estonian-owned bank with an operating licence issued by the European Central Bank. Holm operates under the Holm and Liisi trademarks, the latter of which will mark 26 years of operations this November. Holm Bank’s services include Liisi hire purchase, consumer loans and credit cards, as well as Holm business loans and deposits. In 2020, Holm extended its trademark to Latvia and launched its services on the Swedish market.