European Merchant has become the latest company to receive a specialised banking license from the National Bank of Lithuania, allowing it to passport its services across the European Union. Lithuania’s largest credit union, Mano Unija, which is in the process of becoming Mano Bankas, as well as FinTech start-up Revolut have also recently been awarded banking licenses.
The company’s license will allow it to offer standard banking services: it will accept resident deposits, lend to households and businesses, as well as provide payment services. Its primary market will be Lithuania.
European Merchant is part of Akce Group and was set up to expand the range of services the group offers. Akce Group, which also controls Ozan, an electronic money institution licensed in the UK, currently provides payment and payment-related services.
The National Bank of Lithuania is currently assessing three more applications for banking licences.
The main difference between a specialised and a full-range banking license is that the former does not allow investment services. Financial market participants have been able to establish specialised banks in Lithuania since 2017. The authorisation process lasts roughly a year.