18/02/2019 Lithuania‘s efforts and attention to money laundering and measures to combat such illicit activities was acknowledged by Moneyval, the Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures
Finance institutions licensing in a single European market
Fintech companies, banks, electronic money institutions, payment service providers, insurance companies, investment managers and investment funds, forex dealers, securities brokers and other finance institutions in Europe are subject to higher regulation and risk management requirements. Licensing of a finance institution in one of the member states within the European Economic Area (EEA)/European Union (EU) opens up business opportunities to provide services in all other EEA/EU states, enjoy benefits of a Common Market of 500 million wealthy consumers and over 20 million businesses.
Fintech company or other finance institution registered and licensed in Lithuania provides significant competitive advantage and opens up European financial market at a significantly lower incorporation and operational costs. Favourable regulatory environment, excellent infrastructure, the fastest internet and quality talent pool make Lithuania and primarily its capital Vilnius attractive for large international finance institutions as well as Fintech start-ups.
The official policy of the Bank of Lithuania (regulator) and the Government is a creation of regulatory environment and favourable ecosystem for foreign Fintech companies, in order to attract foreign finance institutions and FinTech start-ups into Lithuania. Regulatory behaviour and significantly lower finance institution incorporation, licensing and maintenance costs is what makes Lithuania preferred jurisdiction for the finance business people from around the world, seeking licensing for their European activities.
The reasons why Lithuania is one of the top jurisdictions in EU for Finance Institution licensing:
- No particular requirement for company management to reside in Lithuania or Europe.
- Application for a license submitted without establishing a company. Incorporation of the company starts only after the decision to grant the license is taken.
- Fast licensing process. Issue of Payment or E-money institution license within period of 3 months and even faster.
- Licensing documentation can be submitted in English and amended “on the go” instead of formal writing forth and back.
- Possibility for non-banks get own sorting codes for IBAN client accounts generation.
- Non-banks have direct access to SEPA through CENTROlink payment system managed by the Regulator.
- Remote client verification. Innovative “know your customer” processes for remote client verification allows open client accounts without physical presence of the client.
- Fast and easy license passporting procedure in to the other EU jurisdictions, taking 1 month. Regulators in other EU jurisdictions cannot raise additional requirements.
- No regulatory sanctions for the first year. The Bank of Lithuania is committed to support start-ups and not to punish them during the first year of operation for minor infringements.
- Start-up visa. Special visas for the citizens of non-EU/EEA countries running innovative businesses in Lithuania.
- Companies licensed in Lithuania allowed being direct members of the stock exchanges, depositories and clearinghouses registered in any other EU jurisdiction.