On 1 July 1991, Hansabank started operating as a branch of Tartu Kommertspank (Tartu Commercial Bank). Officially Hansabank launched independent operations on 10 January 1992.
As soon as in the following year, the bank set up its first subsidiary, AS Hansa Liising (Hansa Leasing), which focused on selling leasing products. A significant milestone in the history of the bank was the year 1995, when Hansabank’s shares were listed on the I-list of the Helsinki Stock Exchange. Also in 1995, Hansabank added representation in Riga, the capital of neighbouring Latvia, and Hansa Liising’s subsidiary, AS Hansa Leasing Latvia, was launched.
In 1996, Hansabank established its presence on the largest market in the Baltic states: Lithuania. In contrast to Estonia and Latvia, the first company set up there was Hansa Leasing Lithuania. In the same year, Hansabank’s shares were listed on the over-the-counter market in Frankfurt. The Hansabank Group was developed at the end of 1996, when sales units Hansabank Estonia, Hansabank Latvia and Hansa Leasing were set up. On the basis of the bank’s financial markets division, Hansabank Markets was set up to cover the financial markets of the Baltic states.
The year 1998 marks the period of mergers in the history of the bank. In April 1998, Hansabank merged with Eesti Hoiupank, and the new legal name of the bank became AS Hansabank. In June 1998, Hansa Capital, the holding company of the Hansa Leasing Group, signed a sales agreement with Hoiupanga Liising (Hoiupank Leasing). In September 1998, Hansabank Latvia and Hoiupank’s Latvian bank, Zemes Banka, signed a merger agreement.
In the same year, Sweden’s FöreningsSparbanken (Swedbank) obtained more than 50% of Hansabank’s shares through a share issue. In 2005, Swedbank made a buy-out offer to the minority shareholders, and Hansabank became a fully-owned subsidiary of Swedbank Group.
In July 1999, Hansabank’s Lithuanian subsidiary Hansabankas opened its doors to clients in Vilnius to complement the services offered by Hansa Leasing Lithuania.
In June 2000, the Latvian Company Registry registered the reorganisation of Ventspils Apvienota Baltijas Banka (UBB Ventspils) into Hansabank’s branch.
The negotiations between Hansabank and the Lithuanian State Property Fund that had started in 2000 were finalised in the second half of 2001, and on 23 April 2001 an agreement on purchasing 90.7% of Lietuvos Taupomasis Bankas was concluded between Hansabank and the fund. The agreement took effect on 1 June.
In November 2002, Hansa Capital and EBRD signed the establishment agreement for Hansa Leasing Russia, which focused on financing the most important areas of the Russian-related transit sector: ports and the railway.
In October 2003, Hansabank’s Lithuanian subsidiary Hansabankas signed a purchase agreement to acquire 100% of the Lithuanian life insurance company UAB Lietuvos Draudimo Gyvybes Draudimas (LDGD).
On 24 September 2004, Hansabank signed a purchase agreement for the Russian bank Kvest in Moscow, following regulatory approval from the Russian Central Bank and the Estonian Financial Supervisory Agency.
In December 2004, Hansa Capital’s subsidiary OOO Hansa Leasing set up a leasing subsidiary in Kaliningrad, for leasing of industrial equipment and vehicles.
On 10 March 2005, Hansabank successfully completed the acquisition of the Moscow-based OAO Kvest bank in Russia.
In the same year, Swedbank purchased 100% of Hansabank’s shares, and Hansabank become entirely part of Swedbank Group.
On 15 August 2006, Hansabank entered the insurance market when Hansa Property Insurance was launched.
In autumn 2008, Hansabank changed its name in the Baltic states to Swedbank.