Lithuania Fines (Another) E-Money Firm

August 17, 2022
The Bank of Lithuania’s active approach to regulating continues, as it slaps another electronic money institution with a fine.

The Bank of Lithuania’s active approach to regulating continues, as it slaps another electronic money institution (EMI) with a fine.

Blender, an international peer-to-peer lending platform, has been issued a €10,000 fine by the Bank of Lithuania.

The central bank said that the EMI had failed to enter into an agreement with an audit company, as it is expected to through national legislation.

Furthermore, it did not approve the set of annual financial statements and did not make a decision on the distribution of profits, did not submit financial reports, audit conclusions and the decision on the financial distribution of the annual operating result.

The EMI had, however, since eliminated these legal violations and has now also taken measures to prevent their recurrence, hence the fine being low.

Although the Bank of Lithuania’s approach to supervision has made the Baltic country a hub for payments and EMIs, particularly since Brexit, it has also meant that the regulator has begun to take a tougher approach to the firms that it regulates.

In an interview with VIXIO, the central bank’s chief development officer said that, following an influx of firms registering in the country, the Bank of Lithuania has now shifted to a focus on governance, including quality and business culture.

Recently, the authority also said that with a significant increase in the volume of activities of the sector’s institutions, it has begun to focus its auditing work on monitoring compliance with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing (AML/CTF) requirements, protection of equity capital and customer funds, internal control requirements and strengthening compliance.

This is reflected in an array of its recent public announcements.

For example, last month, the central bank said that it had fined NIUM EU, an EMI, for improperly storing customer funds and providing incorrect information.

It also prevented payments institution Best Finance from carrying out services beyond the European Economic Area due to its relationships with clients from high-risk countries.

And, in March this year, the central bank revoked the licence of an EMI called TRUSTCOM, determining that senior staff at the company may have organised money laundering.

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