/Mārtiņš Bičevskis, president of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks/
Value increase of Latvian banks, which is reflected in the 2013 data, isn’t the result of one year – in fact, it has been at least three year long process, which has shown visible, results only last year.
GDP in Latvia is growing for more than fifteen consecutive quarters; we have stable fiscal and macro economical environment. Along with the economical development of the banking sector since 2012, providing services to the local market, we can observe stabilization and moderate growth. Banks since the crisis have become significantly effective, there has been consolidation in the sector, some players have left Latvian market, and thus those who stayed have become even stronger. In field of financial services export banks have been able to show more rapid growth rates, thus confirming the potential of this direction. Another important aspect - nowadays often as important as the good news are also the bad ones, and in 2013 nothing seriously bad happened – consumer confidence index increased, we were preparing for better life with euro in 2014. Unfortunately, with concerns about last years background we are waiting next year and the end of this year, taking into account both geopolitical and economical events.