Coop Pank wishes to be a reliable partner for companies both in the capital and farther afield, says Hans Pajoma, in charge of the business bank unit at Coop Pank, which will enter the market this autumn.
What services is Coop Pank going to provide for business clients?
Our Business Banking unit is actually not a business starting from scratch. This is the Business Banking unit of the current Krediidipank. With the change in the shareholders and the arrival of Coop as the majority shareholder in the bank, we have thoroughly re-designed the existing business client strategy of the bank and are about to step out of the role of the existing passive market participant. We are evolving into an active partner for both our current and new business clients.
Who might be Coop Pank’s business clients?
We have focused on small and medium-sized Estonian companies both in the capital and farther afield. Our portfolio of business client products is based on Krediidipank’s current product portfolio and is rather similar to what banks provide for companies across the world, that is, traditional financial services: investment and working capital loans, payment settlement services, various types of credit, guarantees etc.
Since, however, the coverage of our bank is Estonia-wide, undoubtedly our focus, too, is more on companies operating away from the capital. In this respect, I would like to point out that already today, in collaboration with MES, we are actively supporting and financing agricultural businesses across the entire Republic. Furthermore, we are actively involved in the financing of apartment associations Estonia’s various cities. In addition to traditional loan products, I would also single out separately our leasing. We have set about actively building up our own leasing company (current Krediidipank’s leasing) and are planning to actively participate in the market for both cars and equipment. We have taken into account our geographical coverage and, as a result, want to design our leasing offer for all the clients (both companies and private individuals) across Estonia.
Coop Pank promises to bring the bank back to the countryside for private clients. Are you making the same promise also to business clients?
There is no point in denying that 90 per cent of Estonian business is located in the bigger cities and that this has to be taken into account in business client banking. At the same time, as in the case of private clients, so in the case of business clients, too, Coop Pank wishes to differentiate from the banks already operating in that we do not neglect the rest of the clients, that is, we focus equally on businesses operating in the capital and on those operating farther afield.
What do you see as Coop Pank’s competitive advantage?
In terms of the volume of our assets, we are currently a small bank providing services for small and medium-sized companies. As a result, we are able to customise and be flexible – something the big universal banks are faulted for not having, from time to time. At the same time, in spite of our small size, we have a very good product portfolio and also the skills and the experience in financing. Outside Tallinn and Harju County, Krediidipank is well represented already today and Coop Pank will be even better represented in the future. We have accounts in almost all the major county seats, with account managers specialising in business clients working in, for example, Võru, Tartu and Kuressaare. In the future, business clients will be able to take care of all their simpler banking operations also at Coop shops: to open an account, you will no longer have to drive to Tallinn or look for an ATM tens of kilometres away.
Should clients be looking at Krediidipank as the future Coop Pank already now?
Definitely, I am recommending Krediidipank to both business clients and private clients already today. I can promise that Krediidipank and Coop Pank are able to better focus on the wishes and needs of each specific client than the big universal banks. Any client wishing to lease a car or take out a loan today: make sure to request an offer from Krediidipank as well.