Baltic fintech startup SME Finance is planning to launch a neobank for small- and medium-sized enterprises in Lithuania.
SME Finance is already the biggest provider of non-banking business financing in the Baltic region.
Now it is taking the next step, preparing to launch, by the middle of next year, an online and app-based bank that will provide SMEs not only loans but also transfer and deposit services.
SME Finance CEO Mindaugas Mikalajūnas says it took the decision to launch a bank now because, while SMEs are looking for help during the Covid-19 crisis, the "conservative" Scandinavian banks that dominate the local market are reluctant to lend.
The new player is promising competitive pricing, a faster and simpler servicing process and a modern IT platform with which it plans to serve about 5000 business clients.
While, the bank - which will operate as a separate legal entity from SEM Finance - is beginning life in Lithuania, it could expand to other Baltic states and Poland.