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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Tuesday, 05.07.2022, 06:40

Lithuanian parlt panel chair turns to financial crime, intelligence bodies over Revolut

BC, Vilnius, 07.01.2019.Print version
The chairman of the Lithuanian parliament's Committee on Budget and Finance has turned to the Financial Crime Investigation Service (FNNT) and the State Security Department (VSD) over the UK-based startup Revolut's activities, reported LETA/BNS.

Stasys Jakeliunas turned to the agencies on December 21.

"There are two reasons for this: the bank's business model and a public statement by one of the bank's top executives about how they intend to attract customers and issue loans based on fast and supposedly technological solutions," Jakeliunas told.

"Another piece of information that has appeared publicly is that the bank's shareholders may include persons linked to Russia's politics. I want this information either to be confirmed or denied," he added. 

Marius Jurgilas, a member of the central bank's board, told reporters last week that Revolut posed no risks to customers, adding that, on the contrary, it would increase competition. 

Jakeliunas said he will discuss the Revolut issue with the central bank in early February. 

"We need to clarify the circumstances and have a discussion with the Bank of Lithuania, too. I don't know if there's a unanimous opinion on the issuance of the license in the Bank of Lithuania (...) I don't have enough information and that's why I turned to these agencies. We'll have a more complete picture after these discussions," he said. 

In the lawmaker's words, any new bank, especially an innovative one like Revolut, should be looked at with caution.  

"Banks are a special business. They create money, create purchasing power, have a crucial impact on economic processes (and) de facto carry out economic policies in many countries, including Lithuania. Therefore, any new bank, especially an innovative one and, in this case, with such ambitions, should be looked at in a very responsible and careful way," he said.  

Jakeliunas added that Revolut poses higher risks than other companies issued with specialized bank licenses in Lithuania because it is a much bigger player. 

Revolut obtained a specialized bank license in December. Such licenses have also been issued to Mano Unija, a credit union that earlier this month changed its name to Mano Bankas, as well as European Merchant, which is part of Britain's Akce,  

The way for specialized banks to operate in Lithuania was opened after certain amendments to the Law on Banks came into force in early 2017.

A specialized bank is subject to the same legal requirements as a full service bank, except that the minimum capital requirement is lower at 1 million euros, but it cannot provide investment services.  

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