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10 Nov 2017

One of the Bank of Lithuania’s strategic aims for 2017-2020 is the development of FinTech – conductive regulatory and supervisory environment as well as fostering of innovations in the financial sector. By creating together with other institutions in the country an environment conducive to the establishment of financial companies and design of new products in Lithuania the Bank of Lithuania seeks to become the FinTech Centre in the Nordic-Baltic region. In implementing its goals, the Bank of Lithuania has developed the Newcomer program, which is a one-stop shop for:

1. Meetings and consultations with potential financial market participants;

2. Basic information about licensing and financial services opportunities in Lithuania;

3. Requesting meetings, consultations via email or phone on launching a business or a new product;

4. Checking whether your future plans are in line with legislative and licensing requirements.

Moreover, the Bank of Lithuania indicates that certain measures are already implemented, which makes it a favourable time for FinTech companies to set up in Lithuania:

1. Relatively easy and low-cost authorisation process: following submission of all necessary documents, it takes only 3 months for the Bank of Lithuania to pass a decision on the issuance of an electronic money or payment institution licence. In other EU countries, the process may take up to 12 months or more.

2. The Bank of Lithuania claims that there will be no sanctions imposed for insignificant infringements during the first year. The Bank of Lithuania is planning to create a regulatory sandbox for financial companies. It would allow companies that meet certain criteria and have successfully completed a rigorous selection process to test their innovative creations in a Bank of Lithuania-controlled environment, with no regulatory sanctions.

3. Access to the Bank of Lithuania payment infrastructure, allowing payment and electronic money institutions to provide payment services in euro without a middleman in the SEPA (Single Euro Payment System) area. SEPA is where more than 500 million citizens and 20 million businesses and European public authorities can make and receive payments in euro under the same basic conditions, regardless of their location.

4. Highly-qualified talent pool. Many investors believe this to be one of the decisive factors in choosing Lithuania for launching a FinTech business.

More information is available on the website of the Bank of Lithuania.

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