Credit union Mano unija granted a specialised bank licence
Following the assessment of the Bank of Lithuania, the European Central Bank granted a banking licence to the Lithuanian credit union Mano unija, making it the first specialised bank in the country.
Mano unija intends to continue providing the same services as it did before – it will be authorised to accept resident deposits as well as lend to households and businesses. Having restructured into a specialised bank, the credit union plans to retain the current organisational and management structure.
Uniting 4.6 thousand members, Mano unija is the largest credit union in Lithuania in terms of assets, which according to the data of the Bank of Lithuania, total €52.9 million.
By 1 January 2018 credit unions had to decide whether to continue activities as part of a central credit union or start the procedures necessary to restructure into a bank. Aside from Mano unija, the latter direction was also chosen by four other credit unions, which were permitted to restructure into a specialised bank until 2023.
Together with the European Central Bank, the Bank of Lithuania is currently assessing three more applications for a specialised bank licence.
The initial capital requirement for setting up a specialised bank in Lithuania offering the usual range of banking services is the smallest in the euro area and amounts to €1 million. This is five times less than the requirement applicable to banks offering a full range of banking services, including investment services.