Lending services to the small and medium-sized enterprises – cornerstone of the Baltic International Bank in 2020
In 2020 Baltic International Bank took several significant steps: in Summer 2020 Bank launched completely new internet banking to its clients as well as in line with the approved operational strategy resumed lending focusing on the small and medium-sized enterprises.
Viktors Bolbats, Chairman of the Management Board, Baltic International Bank: “Last year was challenging to everyone, therefore assessing our performance, I am happy for our motivated further movement to implement both our business goals we have set for the previous year and the one’s anticipated in the business strategy of the Bank until 2022. In 2020 we reached the highest capital adequacy ratio within three years, achieving total capital ratio in the amount of 16.53% (at the end of 2019: 14.84%). First level capital ratio (Tier 1 capital ratio) was 14.62% (at the end of 2019: 9.84%).
Bank has managed to significantly increase the interest of local entrepreneurs in its products and services, as well as confidently continued to increase the number of local clients. In 2020 Latvian private individuals or legal entities comprise more than half of the active clients – 56 % (in 2019 – 50 %) from all active clients included in the Bank’s portfolio.
In Q2 of the year we returned to the crediting segment, and until the end of year Bank provided loans for the total amount of more than EUR 18 million. I am convinced that during the rebuilding of economic stability after pandemics, local capital banks will play a significant role. Operational model of these Banks allows understanding needs of local entrepreneurs and providing necessary support mechanisms to businesses. The capital adequacy ratio achieved by the Bank, compliance with laws and regulations, as well as the obtained structure of the client portfolio allows the management to further develop the Bank in 2021, continuing to grant loans to local private individuals and companies.”
At the end of 2020 the capital adequacy and liquidity ratio of the Bank surpassed the norms determined by the Financial and Capital Market Commission.
Bank continued to maintain strong commission fee generating capacity, reaching gross commission income in the amount of EUR 2.37 million (in 2019: EUR 4.27 million).
Investment in public bonds comprised EUR 22.86 million (EUR 18.06 million) or 10.54% (7.97%) from the total assets. Structure of liquid assets were well-diversified: 23.44 represented by bonds, 4.76 claims on credit institutions, 84.97 claims on the Bank of Latvia, 5.00 cash and 6.42 stocks. Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) was 64.61%.
As of 31 December 2020, financial results of the Bank (data about the Group indicated in brackets) are as follows:
Assets: EUR 216.84 million (EUR 218.66 million);
Total capital ratio: 16.53% (14.92%);
Liquidity coverage ratio: 64.61%;
Losses: EUR 1.17 million (EUR 3.09 million).
In 2020 Bank conversed from a Joint Stock Company into the European Company (Societas Europaea) with a view to reinforcing the international dimension of the Company and promoting its international recognition in the European Union among existing and potential clients of the Company as well as among other international providers of banking and financial services.
Throughout 2020 Bank continued to invest in the upgrading and development of the information technology infrastructure and local control system, as well as improvement and development of the expertise of employees. Bank introduced several improvements in the IT system and begun to offer new Internet Banking to its clients in spring 2020.
In 2020 Baltic International Bank has been recognized as the best digital bank in Latvia in the competition “Worlds Best Digital Bank Awards 2020” organised by the publication “Global Finance”.
For the second consecutive year, the Bank was awarded the highest scoring category – Platinum Category – on the annual Sustainability Index, confirming the compliance of the company’s activities with the principles of sustainability. In 2020, for the second consecutive year, Bank issued its ESG (Environmental. Social. Governance) report.
In 2020 Bank joined the start-up association “Startin.lv”, recognizing both their role in the general development of the national economy and the importance of providing support to this sector and in light of potential joint operations perspective.
Bank traditionally supported the ceremony of presenting the Annual Latvian Literary Award (LALIGABA) and also continued work within the project Bibliotēka (Library) aimed at promoting reading. Annual Latvian Literary Award is the prime event in the area of literature in Latvia, providing professional evaluation of literary works and acknowledging authors for their most outstanding works published in the Latvian literature within a year.
For many years Bank has supported development of outstanding cultural and art values and in 2020 in frame of the reading promotion project Bank “Library” a unique heraldic edition “Family Coats of Arms in Modern Latvia” was published with the support of the Bank and devoted to the family coats of arms registered in Latvia. Also Bank continued to work on the rebuilding of the complex of historical buildings “Kalēju Quarter” in Old Riga.