Estonian leasing business Liisi has gained a banking licence and rebranded as Holm Bank.

The launch of Holm Bank represents the first financial institution in Estonia to be licensed by the European Central Bank.

Liisi is an Estonian credit institution, run by Koduliising AS. The owner of Holm Bank, Arne Veske, founded Koduliising in the Estonian resort of Haapsalu.

“Liisi has been operating in Haapsalu for 23 years, covering all of Estonia. We have 1,100 partners with more than 2,000 sales outlets,“ says Veske.

Liisi currently has around 350,000 customers.

“Holm Bank is a family business. To illustrate, it was led by Arne Veske for a long time. From 2012, my sister Kelly Veske led business development.  Family centricity enables us to implement a more peaceful and long-term strategic plan,“ says Kaido Veske, chairman of the bank.

Holm Bank is headed by Indrek Julge, a banking veteran with around 20 years experience at SEB.

He adds: “The bank will continue to offer all products that have become popular under the Liisi brand. These are primarily hire purchase, personal loans and credit cards. We will launch new deposit products and also offer more solutions for the SME sector.”

The Leasing Life Awards 2018 was hosted in Tallinn, the capital city of Estonia.

Known as a global leader in technological innovation, perhaps the most famous application created in Estonia is Skype, well known for connecting people across the world through video chats. According to Reet Hääl, chief executive officer of the Estonian Leasing Association, this is a “modest country that extends beyond its borders” in the digitalisation sphere.

Estonia, and the other Baltic states of Latvia and Lithuania, are also highly proficient adapters of asset finance. According to Tõnu Palm, chief economist at Luminor Bank Estonia: “since independence this is an industry that has grown with speed and passion. Even young children are aware of how leasing works.”