Several large banks in Estonia including Swedbank and Nordea have started to more actively offer loans to private people. "The demand for loans has increased and there are more and more people who are interested in buying a new home," Olavi Pakkonen, head of retail banking division of Nordea, told Äripäev.
Swedbank has recently launched a campaign which recommends customers to borrow small things from neighbours, but large things from Swedbank. "We want to always be the first choice for the customer and are happy to advise them about borrowing," adds Andres Tukk, head of private financing division of Swedbank.
Tukk added that, supported by more favourable real estate prices, customers have become more courageous in making long-term borrowing decisions.
According to Tukk, more active loan sales has forced Swedbank to hire more people. "Like many other enterprises, we also cut staff during the crisis," he said.
Nordea that played a key role in triggering the previous spending spree is now offering private customers a loan or is urging them to move their existing loan to Nordea. However, Pakkonen insists that the bank is not conducting a direct campaign and has never stopped issuing loans. "It is not a campaign - we are simply ready to finance our customers in both good and bad times."