side-area-logo

American stock exchange giant Nasdaq welcomes Lithuania’s progress in FinTech

American stock exchange giant Nasdaq welcomes Lithuania’s progress in FinTech

More competition means more innovation, and that can only be an advantage for Europe’s consumers and businesses. Lithuanian authorities do not doubt about that and continues to present itself as a country of innovation and potential financial technology (FinTech) leader in the region and to attract new FinTech companies. Lithuania possibilities and plans were recently also discussed between the President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaitė, Minister of Finance of Lithuania Vilius Šapoka and Chief Executive Officer of the global stock exchange “Nasdaq” Adena Friedman.

According to the President, Lithuania’s achievements that earned trust from FinTech start-ups and global companies include talented and qualified specialists, developed payment infrastructure, and effective licensing system for FinTech companies. This is a key driver of Lithuania’s progress that creates the future of global financial technologies. As it is noted in the statement of the Presidential Office, “Nasdaq” has also a development potential in Lithuania.

“It shows that all Lithuanian authorities understand the potential of FinTech sector, trying to make Lithuania the most FinTech friendly country in Europe. An increasing number of companies have arrived in the country, drawn by its infrastructure, people, and business-friendly mindset and even more companies are making movements to Lithuania now”, – says I. Karulaitytė-Kvainauskienė, attorney at law of ECOVIS ProventusLaw.

In the background of Lithuania’s campaign to attract more FinTech companies is the uncertainty facing many such firms due to Brexit.  As the UK is leaving the EU and threatens to revoke “passporting” rights for UK banking license holders to trade in the rest of Europe, Lithuania is hoping to attract FinTech firms looking for a new European base. There is no doubt, there will be increased competition and other jurisdictions will compete for the title of the leading FinTech centre (hub in the world).

“It shows that all Lithuanian authorities understand the potential of FinTech sector, trying to make Lithuania the most FinTech friendly country in Europe”, – says I. Karulaitytė-Kvainauskienė, attorney at law of ECOVIS ProventusLaw.

Lithuania has a huge potential to be at the forefront of financial technologies in the region. Lithuania is leading in the development of network and communication technologies while licenses for financial technologies companies are issued two or three times faster than anywhere in the EU. While a few other EU countries also offer a Start-Up Visa for non-EU states, Lithuania’s three-month licensing regime for FinTech companies is the speediest program of its kind in the EU – faster than anywhere else in Europe.

As many as 16 thousand computer programmers work in Lithuania, a favourable investment environment is created, and a viable community of start-ups is on the rise. In the last few years, Lithuania has established itself as a viable and attractive venue for establishing business centres, which are usually associated with banks or IT companies. Barclays, Nasdaq, Western Union, CSC, and other global business leaders have chosen Vilnius and other Lithuanian cities as their business location.

In the last few years, Lithuania has established itself as a viable and attractive venue for establishing business centres, which are usually associated with banks or IT companies.

Ministry of Finance reports, Chief Executive Officer of Nasdaq has also no doubt about ambitions of Lithuania. The available talent and potential is illustrated by the fact that most of the programming works of the latest Nasdaq Blockchain (decentralized public transaction storage systems) project were implemented by precisely FinTech team in Vilnius. “We discussed not only global trends, but also the Lithuanian capital market developments and prospects. I am glad that one of the most important global financial market participant hear and support our country’s leadership ambition in FinTech field,”- after the meeting said Finance Minister Vilius Šapoka.

The global stock exchange giant launched a technologies and business competence centre in 2014 for the development of modern financial technologies, account management, IT operations and other functions vital for the company. In spring 2016 already 127 employees were working there as Nasdaq announced that the  world’s leading exchange operator and capital markets technology provider Nasdaq group has positively assessed the first phase of the Technology and Business Support Competence Centre development in Vilnius and decided to expand further an to recruit about 200 new employees in Vilnius.

The article was prepared on the basis of the information provided Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Lithuania and The Lithuanian Investment Promotion Agency Invest Lithuania.

Inga Karulaitytė – Kvainauskienė