Banks, Financial Services, Investments, Latvia, Technology

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Thursday, 21.01.2021, 13:55

Rietumu FinTech Club: “Brexit Will Allow Small Countries to Attract FinTech Companies”

BC, Riga, 12.04.2017.Print version
At the end of the last week a regular, the third in succession, discussion meeting in the club format took place within the framework of collaboration of Rietumu Bank with the Latvian association of startups Startin.LV and TechHub Riga.

The subject of the discussion were alternative opportunities in the field of banking services and financial technologies in the 21 stcentury, capable of making the work of banking and non-banking institutions more efficient and meeting modern challenges. 

Participants of all parties involved in the industry of financial technologies took part in the panel discussion. Startups were represented by Valdis Bergs from Mtrx, Roberts Bernans from Nordigen and Jevgenijs Novickis from Swipe. Banking sector was represented by Senior Vice-president of Rietumu Bank Eugene Dugaev, responsible for IT and business technologies. Viewpoint of Latvian state structures was expressed by the Head of the Electronic Commerce Department of the State Revenue Service’s Tax Control Department – Arnis Libenzons. The moderator of the discussion was a business trainer and financial advisor Toms Kreicbergs. 

This year, a special guest of the event was Andrius Biceika from Lithuania, who is engaged in business development at the Revolut startup. Revolut is considered as one of the most successful projects of our time in Great Britain. It provides an alternative banking solution which has attracted over 600000 users and 17 mln euro of investments within less than two years. 

“The success is based on different factors. The first one is people, who work on the project implementation, and efficiency of their actions. Second factor is the product, which is a main marketing tool. It is important to convince a client that, by using it, he will get special advantage. The next factor of success is speed. We have an experience of implementing new solutions; a startup needs much less time for the implementation of an idea – a couple of weeks, whereas a bank might need several months. And another circumstance – the culture of the entrepreneurial environment is very important. Entire staff must have a common goal, and they must apply efforts to achieve it,” said Andrius Biceika, sharing secrets of his company. 

During the discussion, the Head of the Electronic Commerce Department of the State Revenue Service’s Tax Control Department, Arnis Libenzons, noted that: “The most important is to have a stable tax system.” 

All participants of the discussion were unanimous in the opinion that Brexit and its consequences open huge opportunities for small countries to attract new Fintech projects. Thus, the Revolut startup representative will soon start searching for a country in the European Union to move to and, having obtained the licence, to continue operating on a free market. “We are, certainly, very much interested in Lithuania because this is my motherland. But I would also advise other countries to work more actively, instead of waiting when a new project comes and asks for a possibility to settle in the territory of this country – you should look for new rising stars of Fintech yourselves”, said Andrius Biceika. 

His opinion was shared by Senior Vice-president of Rietumu Bank Eugene Dugaev, “Current events open big opportunities for our country. But we have to move on our own; we should facilitate terms and conditions for new companies which intend to continue their businesses all over Europe and search for a new location. We have both human resources and technologies in Latvia. In the banking sector we have a new and modern infrastructure, compared to other European countries, and almost all banks work with multicurrency accounts. It is very important for our country to use this situation, opening new opportunities and creating jobs. In Europe, there is already struggle going on to attract such companies.” 

Meanwhile, these days were last for submitting applications for the international contest Rietumu FinTech Challenge – its final will be held in Riga on 26 April. 

Rietumu FinTech Club is a platform where project managers and Fintech specialists exchange knowledge and experience with other representatives of an innovative business. According to organisers, the success of two last meetings is an evidence that this field is very perspective for starting entrepreneurs. Events of such format are also scheduled for the future. These three successful meetings confirm that the field of financial technologies is very interesting and perspective for young business enthusiasts. 

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