AB Fjord Bank granted a specialised bank licence
Following the assessment and proposal of the Bank of Lithuania, AB Fjord Bank has been granted a specialised bank licence by the European Central Bank (ECB).
Having secured a specialised bank licence, the bank intends to offer e-banking services: it will accept resident deposits and provide consumer credits. The main shareholders of AB Fjord Bank are natural and legal persons residing or established in Norway.
Specialised bank licences have already been granted to Mano unija, the country’s largest credit union that set up AB Mano bankas (in operation since January 2019), Revolut Bank UAB, European Merchant Bank UAB, and UAB General Financing. All of them are actively preparing to start their banking activities.
Together with the ECB, the Bank of Lithuania is currently assessing two applications for a specialised bank licence.
Contributing to further development of fintech, specialised banks will help reduce concentration in the Lithuanian banking sector, the rate of which is now among the highest in Europe. They will also boost competition and accessibility of banking services.
The main difference between a specialised and a full-range bank is that the former is not authorised to provide investment services. Financial market participants have been able to establish specialised banks in Lithuania since 2017. The authorisation process lasts roughly a year.