"Latvian and Lithuanian lenders have the highest need for new capital in eastern and central Europe because they rely on collateral that has fallen in value amid house price declines," said Fitch Ratings in a recent e-mailed report. Peteris Stulbins, spokesman for Swedbank agrees. “Most banks re-capitalize by issuing new shares or debt. Because Baltic banks can’t do this, the next best alternatives are usurious interest rates and punitive fees for the banks’ good customers,” he said brightly.
“Times are tough. Good customers must be forced to share the pain felt by their banks,” said Stulbins. “You know, our ludicrous lending policies, talent-free staff, and effective insolvency are beside the point. Because banks are part of the social fabric of this great society,” Stulbins continued. “So it’s our customers’ job to support the bank. These are tough times, and we have to pull together, for the common good of our bank. This is the EU, after all.”