Licence of Finolita Unio revoked
Having completed the investigation that was started in autumn, the Bank of Lithuania revoked the licence of UAB Finolita Unio for severe infringements of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements.
In June 2020, the German financial market supervisory authority acknowledged that Wirecard was facing problems in its operations. Having swiftly identified connections of UAB Finolita Unio with the Wirecard companies, the Bank of Lithuania immediately initiated enhanced supervision of the company’s operations. After performing the analysis, in autumn 2020, the central bank started an ad-hoc investigation of the institution’s activities. In order to temporarily distance the company from the influence of Senjo Group Pte. Ltd., its main shareholder, the majority of the voting rights in the company were transferred to an independent company Valnetas.
The investigation conducted by the Bank of Lithuania revealed that UAB Finolita Unio treated anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements in a very careless and irresponsible manner and made many severe infringements in this field.
Finolita Unio failed to assess money laundering and terrorist financing risks of its customers, acted with negligence when establishing and checking identity of its customers and beneficial owners, failed to identify the nature of activities of legal entities, improperly monitored business relationships and operations of customers and failed to comply with the requirements related to the implementation of international financial sanctions and enforcement measures. It also inadequately monitored the operations performed by the persons related to the company and did not analyse the grounds and objectives of large transactions made by these persons.
Having considered all circumstances, the Bank of Lithuania decided to revoke UAB Finolita Unio licence.
This means that the company will no longer be able to provide any financial services. Customers holding their funds in accounts with this company will be able to apply to it for their money to be transferred to their personal accounts in banks or other credit, payment or electronic money institutions.
Additional information – Chronology of Finolita Unio operation in Lithuania
- In the beginning of September 2015, the Board of the Bank of Lithuania granted a payment institution licence to UAB Finolita Unio.
- In the beginning of May 2017, the Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania (currently, the Financial Market Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania) did not object to Senjo Group Pte. Ltd. (a company originating from Singapore) acquiring 100% of UAB Finolita Unio shares and respective voting rights.
- In February 2019, the Board of the Bank of Lithuania granted an electronic money institution licence to UAB Finolita Unio and cancelled its payment institution licence at the request of the company.
- In October 2020, the Financial Market Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania did not object to the direct acquisition of a share of voting rights in UAB Finolita Unio exceeding 50% by Valnetas, UAB. Through this decision, the company distanced itself from the influence of Senjo Group Pte. Ltd. until a long-term solution could be found. The Bank of Lithuania takes the decisions on the objection or non-objection to the proposed acquisition transactions after carefully assessing the compliance of both the transaction and the acquirer with legal requirements.