Lithuania is emerging as a European fintech hub amid political uncertainty (GOOGL)
This story was delivered to Business Insider Intelligence “Fintech Briefing” subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.
Around 100 financial institutions (FIs) have applied for an electronic institution license in Lithuania, according to Reuters.
A quarter of these companies are coming from the UK, and they’re likely applying to ensure they can continue offering their services in the EU after Brexit. Other countries have also seen a surge in applications from UK companies, such as Ireland, which is currently processing over 100 applications as a result of Brexit, per Reuters.
As of January this year, Lithuania issued a total of 83 licenses, second only to the UK among EU countries. Companies including Google and UK neobank Revolut have successfully obtained a license from the country in the past.
Lithuania is known for its fintech-friendly environment and there are two key reasons why interest in obtaining a license in the region has surged:
The country can process license applications faster than many other countries.The Bank of Lithuania overhauled its license application process last year, when it introduced a new e-licensing tool to make the submission of information required for an operating license easier and more efficient. It takes the country only three months to process an electronic money institution license application — and the bank says it can take other EU countries up to a year to do so. This streamlined application process likely makes Lithuania an attractive country to receive regulatory approval.
With the outcome of Brexit still very uncertain, FIs are looking to get regulated outside the UK. The UK is supposed to leave the EU at the end of March; however, no deal between the two parties has been struck …read more
Source:: Business Insider