Lithuania Post completes deal to buy 214 “mini banks”
Lithuania Post has completed its deal to snap up a network of 214 on-street retail kiosks from the liquidated bank Bankas Snoras. Snoras, once one of the top retail banks in Lithuania, was nationalized and declared bankrupt in November 2011 after its risky investment strategy put it LTL 4bn (EUR 1.2bn) in debt.
It is currently going through the liquidation process.
Lithuania Post said yesterday it spent around LTL 3.1m (EUR 890,000) to buy the Snoras retail network from the bank’s administrator.
The Post will use the “mini-banks” to provide the kind of financial services currently offered at post offices – including bill payments, money orders, cash withdrawal and consumer credit services.
New financial services are also set to be introduced, the Post said.
The first Lithuania Post mini-banks look likely to open before the end of this year, the Post said.
Neil Cooper, the bankruptcy administrator, said the sale of the network was in the interest of the bank’s creditors, landlords and around 100 employees that will transfer to Lithuania Post.
He said: “I am pleased to confirm that the sale of the mini-bank kiosks has now been completed. Such transactions can only be achieved thanks to the hard work by all involved parties.”
Lithuania Post, which recorded its first profit in four years in 2011, generated about 21% of its LTL 183m annual revenue in the 12 months up to December, but the Post’s financial services revenues fell nearly 10% compared to 2010 with increased competition in the market for payment services.
In an interview with September’s Mail & Express Review magazine, Post&Parcel‘s sister title, Lithuania Post chief executive Lina Minderiene said financial services was among the company’s “top priorities” at the moment.
“Financial services are expected to become one of the most popular services available at Lithuanian post offices,” she said.