Aleasing, the leasing arm of Slovenia’s third-largest bank Abanka, is to merge into the Sparkasse brand following the sale to Sparkasse’s parent Erste.

The sale of Aleasing was first agreed with Austrian Erste last year, and will be officially completed on April 1. It forms part of a commitment to privatise Abanka, following an EU-backed bailout by the Slovenian state in 2013-14.

Erste has now said Aleasing, which operates in equipment, vehicle and property leasing, will be integrated into Sparkasse’s leasing operations in the country by the end of the year.

Boštjan Butolen, director of Sparkasse Leasing in Slovenia, said the bank wanted to use Aleasing’s customer base to strengthen its car leasing proposition in the country, while bringing its wider experience in equipment and commercial vehicles leasing to the newly-unified business.

“We will thus bring together knowledge and offer in all areas, and offer a full range of financial services products,” said Butolen.

Butolen is to join the board of management in the merged business. Aleasing’s former management will stay unchanged.

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Andrej Plos, chairman of Sparkasse in Slovenia, said: “The Sparkasse group is fulfilling its vision to provide retail, SMEs and large companies the best comprehensive user experience. We want to be a friendly, simple and trustworthy bank.”

Last year, Erste revealed plans to tacke the eastern European market for leasing, estimated to be worth €17bn (£19bn). The group entered into a strategic partnership for the region with Dutch lessor DLL, with the exact terms to be defined in the first half of 2018.

“Erste has been investing in central and eastern Europe for almost two decades now, and has seen a growing demand for leasing and vendor financing,” Karin Schmidt-Mitscher, head of Erste group commercial real estate and leasing, said at the time of the agreement with DLL in November.

Aleasing reported income of €3m and net profits of €537,000 in the nine months to September, the latest period for which statements are available.