Six-month Swedbank profits up

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Swedbank, Latvia's largest retail bank, reported profits Friday of €59m in the first half of the year, an increase of €10m on the same period in 2013.

“The first half of the year was marked by solid development and banks are willing to offer more loans. However, this is impeded somewhat by cautiousness on the part of businesses regarding their future plans,” said Māris Mančinskis, CEO of Swedbank Latvia.

“In daily banking, customer habits continue to change and customers are increasingly choosing to make day-to-day transactions on their own via Internet Banking or over the phone. At the same time branches are increasingly becoming places to go for advice on more advanced services,” Mančinskis said.

The volume of new lending reached €268m in the first half of the year, but Swedbank said demand remained weak among businesses.

The volume of mortgage new lending increased by 22 per cent on year while the volume of deposits increased by 12 per cent to reach €3.16bn

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