In Brief

Lithuania Green-lights Remote FinTech Licensing

Lithuania’s national bank, the Bank of Lithuania, has introduced a procedure which will allow companies to remotely apply for FinTech licences. This regulatory technology tool (RegTech) will facilitate the process of submitting and managing applications for e-money and payment institution licences. By introducing this one-click solution, Bank of Lithuania – the country’s financial regulator, which already issues licenses in record time – will become even more approachable for FinTech innovators across the world.

Since July 2, companies looking to access the 512-million strong EU market have been able to apply online for a variety of financial licences valid across the SEPA area. These include e-money institution (EMI) and payments institution (PI) licences.

This means that they will not only benefit from having one of the most supportive and FinTech friendly regulators, but they will also now have the convenience of being able to set up their business from wherever they are. What’s more, it is the intention of the Bank of Lithuania to make this e-licensing solution the fastest in the EU – outdoing its own personal record of being the fastest country in the EU to issue PI and EMI licences. With all necessary documents submitted, it takes only 3 months to obtain such licences, while in other EU countries the process may take more than 12 months.

“We aim to create an innovation-friendly, attractive and competitive environment for financial sector regulation,” said Vytautas Valvonis, director of the Supervision Service at the Bank of Lithuania. “We were among the first in the EU to introduce a RegTech system for submitting applications for operating licences. We hope that it will further accelerate the authorisation process and ease the administrative burden for potential financial market participants.”

The bank’s move is another sign of Lithuania’s increasing importance as a tech hub. Earlier this year it set up the world’s first PropTech sandbox, aimed at companies worldwide and inviting them to test and pilot their projects in the Baltic state.