Prestigious banking license opening wealthy pan-European financial market of 500 million consumers. Specialised Bank capital requirement – EUR 1 mill. Bank – EUR 5 mill. Licensing time – from 6 months.

According to the European Regulation (EU) No 575/2013, only the Banks as Credit Institutions have exclusive right to accept deposits and other repayable funds from non-professional market participants and provide full scale banking lending. Banks licensed in one European Union (EU) member state allowed offering all banking services in single European financial market of 28 member states, 500 million wealthy consumers and 20 over million businesses.

Specialised Bank – unique pan-European banking license

From January 1, 2017 EU member state Lithuania introduced a new type of banking license – Specialised Bank, which is unique finance institution in EU and European Economic Area (EEA) jurisdictions.

Prestigious Pan-European banking license issued by European Central Bank through the Bank of Lithuania (Central Bank and financial regulator). Having only EUR 1 million equity capital requirement and licensing time from 6 months Lithuanian Specialised Bank can provide all traditional banking services within EU/EEA area and has no equivalents within the rest of EU jurisdictions.

Banking services provided by Specialised Bank in the EU market:

– Lending;
– Payment services;
– Receipt of deposits;
– Currency exchange;
– Issuing of e-money;
– Issuing guarantees;
– Fund administration;
– Financial leasing;
– Financial intermediation;
– Creditworthiness assessment services;
– Safe-deposit box rental.

…and other banking services.

Specialised Bank is restricted to provide investment or pension fund management, securities brokerage, investment advice and other similar services. This disadvantage can be easily dissolved by licensing separate Securities Broker or Investment Fund Manager.

Lithuanian licensed full service Bank with equity capital of EUR 5 million allows provide full scale pan –European banking services including brokerage and investment advice.

Instant access to single European banking market at low cost

Licensed Specialised Bank/Bank provides significant competitive advantage and opens up European financial market at significantly lower incorporation and operational costs.

Lithuania and primarily its capital Vilnius became a new hub for European banking service centres. Favourable regulatory and tax environment, excellent infrastructure, the fastest internet, cheap office space and quality pool of relatively cheap labour force makes Vilnius attractive for large international banking institutions and FinTech start-ups. Operational costs became vital in today’s financial business. New FinTech companies challenging traditional banking institutions and cutting margins. This is the main reason why traditional finance institutions and FinTech start-ups discovering Lithuania. They need jurisdictions opening large single European market and allowing create safe, efficient and cost effective banking institution ready to face intense competition in EU/EEA banking market. Lithuanian “light” banking license of Specialised Bank is exactly what they need. It opens all single EU/EEA banking market, including large national markets such as French or German at significantly lower costs. A class office rent and employment costs are twice or even more cheaply in Vilnius comparing to traditional financial jurisdictions.

UK giant Barclays Bank operated Barclays Technologies Centre Lithuania in Vilnius from 2009, offering services to Barclays businesses across the world. Scandinavian rivals SEB, Swedbank, Danske Bank as well as finance industry
leader Western Union, world’s biggest stock exchange operator NASDAQ have service centres and operates their global business from Vilnius.

Traditional European finance jurisdictions are losing their importance in our days. UK and London are suffering from BREXIT. UK based financial institutions looking for new jurisdictions in order to secure their financial licenses in continental Europe. Offshore jurisdictions are no longer considered attractive because of automatic tax information exchange, correspondent bank accounts opening restrictions and limited access to single European market.

The reasons why Lithuania is one of the top banking jurisdictions in EU/EEA:

– Fast licensing process. Issue of the license within period of 6 months.

– Equity capital of Specialised Bank – EUR 1 000 000, Bank – EUR 5 000 000.

– The documents can be submitted in English and amended “on the go” instead of formal writing forth and back.

– Direct access to Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).

– Deposits up to the amount of EUR 100 000 insured according to EU Deposit Insurance Scheme.

– Remote client verification. Innovative “know your customer” processes for remote verification allows identification of the client without physical presence.

– Direct access to EU/EEA financial markets.

– No 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.

That is why FinTech industry leader WireCard Bank AG recommends Lithuania and ECOVIS ProventusLaw as a gateway to European financial markets.

From our perspective, they fully handle all aspects of financial or corporate matters with a highly professional dedicated team. Their knowledge of the financial services industry within their local market is supporting us in our efforts across Europe. I would not hesitate in recommending ECOVIS ProventusLaw as a strong and reliable law firm for any dealings with the regulatory body in Lithuania and as a gate for the international financial services companies to Europe. Mr. Oliver Bellenhaus, Wirecard Bank AG


ECOVIS experience in bank licensing

Being part of ECOVIS International consulting network present in more than 60 counties around the world ECOVIS ProventusLaw currently considered as the most experienced financial licensing advisor in Lithuania. ECOVIS ProventusLaw provides all the necessary services for the bank licensing, including preparation of licensing documentation, representation at the Bank of Lithuania (Regulator) during the licensing procedure, company incorporation, office registration, advice on IT, HR, compliance and other issues rising during the incorporation of banking business in Europe. After the licensing procedure completed, ECOVIS offers accounting, reporting, audit, compliance and legal services for the operational business.

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