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Autumn Begins With Enforcement In Lithuania As More Payments Firms Fined

September 11, 2023
Summer is over and the Baltic regulator is back to business, fining two payments firms over regulatory failings.

Summer is over and the Baltic regulator is back to business, fining two payments firms over regulatory failings. 

In 2023, the Bank of Lithuania has shown itself as a regulator unafraid to penalise the many fintechs that operate in its jurisdiction. The bank has now fined two more firms — SatchelPay and currency exchange operator Roltena. 

A fine was imposed on SatchelPay for non-compliance with equity requirements. 

The Bank of Lithuania determined that in 2023, according to the data of the end of the first and second quarters, electronic money institution (EMI) SatchelPay, which goes by the name Satchel, did not fulfil the equity capital requirements. 

Equity capital requirements at the EMI, which has operated since 2018, were lower than what is required by law. 

After assessing the circumstances, the Bank of Lithuania fined the institution €25,000 and decided from September of this year until September 30, 2024, the capital requirement placed on the EMI should be 20 percent higher than the equity capital requirement established by law. 

This is not the first time that Satchel has been censured by the Bank of Lithuania. It also received fines for non-compliance with EMI laws in 2019 due to the incorrect storage of customer funds and in 2020. 

In 2019, the Bank of Lithuania temporarily restricted the activities of SatchelPay, banning the issuance of electronic money and the provision of some payment services. 

The decision was due to the fact that it did not provide mandatory financial information about its activities. 

Meanwhile, Roltena had a fine imposed over non-compliance with international sanctions.

The Bank of Lithuania found that there were not suitable sanctions controls in place because the currency exchange operator did not check whether the clients, their representatives and beneficiaries are in the scope of international sanctions, or whether their transactions are not included in international restrictive measures. 

Assessing that the institution has already eliminated violations of legal acts, the Bank of Lithuania fined Roltena €8,000.

This is the latest in a series of enforcement actions from the regulator. Just last month the bank fined UK-headquartered e-money institution TransferGo, stating that it has “deficiencies” and “insufficient” compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) controls.

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