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Finnish fintech Saldo Bank launches banking operations in Lithuania

Source: Saldo Bank

Financial technology company Saldo Bank UAB, formerly Saldo Finance UAB, has announced the launch of banking operations in Lithuania in February, 2023.

Having built regulatory readiness after obtaining a specialised bank licence from the European Central Bank, Saldo Bank will introduce term deposits and continue providing loans for Lithuanian consumers and SME customers. The company also has plans to introduce new banking services like payment cards. Therefore, the company plans to grow its local team and then expand to other countries.

Saldo Bank is a leading provider of responsible lending solutions in Nordics. The company's business model and differentiation is built on its fully-automated lending engine that streamlines the customer onboarding and scoring process, providing personalised loan offers instantly for both consumers and SMEs.

After growing into one of Finland's top-performing Fintechs, Saldo Bank embarked on a new strategic direction in 2019, deciding to transform from a domestic Fintech business into an international digital bank. Instrumental to this transformation was receiving a specialised bank licence from the European Central Bank in October 2021. Now, Saldo Bank is taking the next step towards becoming a progressive neobank.

"We are ready to provide wider lending services for consumers and SMEs as well as introduce deposits for Lithuanian consumers in April," says Jarkko Mäensivu, CEO at Saldo Bank." In the future, Saldo Bank will offer more banking services like cards, increase SME finance availability and plan to expand our banking operations in Finland and Sweden by passporting our specialised bank licence."

Saldo Bank started operations in Lithuania in 2020. Over the last two years, the company's Vilnius office has doubled its headcount, currently employing over 35 people and acting as Saldo Bank's global headquarters.

"Favourable regulatory environment has been attracting Fintechs and other financial companies to Lithuania for some time now. Saldo Bank has also benefited from both the Fintech-friendly regulation and the hub of tech knowledge in Vilnius," Jarkko Mäensivu explains.

With further expansion on the roadmap, Saldo Bank expects to grow its Lithuanian team over the next few years. The company will be looking for professionals in software development, digital marketing, analytics, scoring, risk management, AML/KYC processes and product development.

"We strive to find smart, passionate and driven experts who can support our strategy and execution," says Jarkko Mäensivu. "As a company, we are excited about the next chapter of building a neobank with a superior product offering and the most innovative team."

According to Elijus Čivilis, General Manager at Invest Lithuania, the fact that Saldo chose Lithuania for its base of operations illustrates the strength of the country's Fintech sector.

"There is no doubt that we have created a fertile environment for dynamic, growing, and international financial businesses like Saldo. With its proprietary systems, scalable products and responsible operations, the company is a valued member of our Fintech community."

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