European Merchant UAB granted a specialised bank licence
Following the assessment and proposal of the Bank of Lithuania, European Merchant UAB has been granted a specialised bank licence by the European Central Bank.
Having secured a specialised bank licence, the company intends to offer standard banking services: it will accept resident deposits, lend to households and businesses, as well as provide payment services.
European Merchant UAB is part of Akce Group and was set up to expand the range of services the group offers. Akre Group, which also controls Ozan Limited, an electronic money institution licensed in the UK, currently provides payment and payment-related services.
Although a specialised bank licence allows its holder to offer services across the European Economic Area, according to European Merchant UAB, its primary market will be Lithuania.
European Merchant UAB is the third company to receive a specialised bank licence; such authorisation was previously granted to the country’s largest credit union Mano unija, which is in the process of restructuring into AB Mano bankas, and Revolut Technologies UAB. Together with the European Central Bank, the Bank of Lithuania is currently assessing three more applications for a specialised bank licence.
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.