Finland’s Sampo acquires Māras banka

Māras banka, a family-owned Latvian bank founded by a repatriated exile from Venezuela, has been acquired by Finland’s Sampo Bank. The acquisition is pending approval by Latvian authorities.

Started in 1997 by Vilis Vītols and his family, the bank has focused on providing small mortgage loans. At the close of October, Māras banka had assets of EUR 41.2 million and controlled about 3.5 percent of the private housing loan market in Latvia, according to a press release from Sampo.

Māras banka has been owned by Vilis Vītols and his wife, Marta, as well as their daughter, Laura Bulmane, and son-in-law, Nikolajs Sigurds Bulmanis. The Vītolses repatriated to Latvia in 1999. In 2002, they also founded the Vītols Fund, an organization that supports education in Latvia through scholarships and other projects.

Details of the acquisition were not released.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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