According to Signet Bank, after obtaining approval from the Financial and Capital Market Commission (FKTK) and the European Central Bank, a transaction was completed under which the former sole shareholder of AS Expobank, Russian businessman Igor Kim, sold all his shares to Signet Bank AS. The parties agreed to keep the terms and price of the deal confidential.
The joint bank will continue to work under the name of Signet Bank and will implement the current strategy of Signet Bank.
At the end of 2020, Signet Bank was the 12th largest bank in Latvia, while Expobank was the smallest bank in Latvia by assets.
Chairman of the Board of Signet Bank Roberts Idelsons said: “With the acquisition of AS Expobank, Signet Bank strengthens its position in the domestic market, gets the opportunity to increase business volumes and acquire additional infrastructure for further successful development."
Igor Kim said: “We are pleased to be able to entrust assets to a high-skilled, experienced and stable partner. In turn, we plan to allocate capital to the development of "Экспобанк" (Russia) as well as to new projects in Asia.”
Until the takeover is formally concluded, Signet Bank and AS Expobank will continue to function as separate credit institutions, so at the moment there will be no changes in the daily customer service. AS Expobank customers will receive information timely on the planned changes during 2022.
Signet Bank was originally founded in 1992 under the name Latvijas Biznesa banka. Since 2013, it has focused its strategy on servicing well-heeled entrepreneurs and their businesses, with an emphasis on capital management and structuring of investment projects. Signet Bank’s shareholders are nine Latvian and international private investors. In its online marketing it stresses its "discretion".
"Signet will manage your wealth and make sure you are always taken care of... Signet is not merely a great bank, it is a prosperity club for you," it boasts in this video of slick business types enjoying sushi.
"We could go further and tell you much more, but we won't. Prosperity loves discretion," it concludes.
Chair of the FKTK, Santa Purgaile, told LETA that the Signet Bank and Expobank deal was a logical step in the development of the Latvian banking sector.
"In Europe, we have been seeing the process of bank consolidation at this level for some time. We are pleased that Latvia is keeping pace with other countries of the European Union in this respect, and bank shareholders are able to see consolidation opportunities, as well as ensuring the transformation of banking business models and taking appropriate steps to the market situation and changes. The FKTK welcomes these types of transactions, which are implemented in search of development scenarios that are desirable for Latvia's financial market, protecting customers' interests and providing Latvian businessmen with extensive financial services and financing solutions," Purgaile said.