Lithuania is bolstering its credentials as an EU-friendly destination for Brexit startup refugees with the proposed opening of a regulatory sandbox for aspiring firms to test their products ahead of commercial roll out.
The Bank of Lithuania has been active in re-shaping the country's regulatory framework to create a favourable environment for startups wishing to take advantage of EU passporting rights.
Initiative such as one-week pre-approval for FCA authorised firms, a three-month wait for receipt of a full license and regulator-run API access to Sepa payments for non-banks, has already seen it woo a host of startups, such as Contis, Revolut and Wirecard to the country.
The Bank has now entered public consultation over the creation of a regulatory sandbox, which will provide companies accepted on the programme with access to simplified incorporation and licencing procedures, including the temporary lifting of some supervisory requirements.
Vitas Vasiliauskas, Bank of Lithuania chairman says companies operating in the sandbox will be able to offer innovative financial products and test business solutions in the commercial marketplace, with customers pre-approved by the Bank.
“By creating an innovation-friendly space, we aim at ensuring the best possible conditions for the further development of financial technologies, creating the most favourable environment for fintech companies in the whole of the Nordic and Baltic region,” he says. “This is an ambitious goal, so we would like to hear what the sector has to say on the matter. We invite all interested parties to attend our public consultations, share their suggestions and enable us to start with a new regulatory regime that promotes the creation of new financial products and solutions to meet the needs of society.”