Fintech company Saldo Bank UAB has launched banking operations in Lithuania, starting from February 2023.
Saldo Bank, formerly Saldo Finance UAB, obtained its specialised bank licence from the European Central Bank in October 2021. As a result, the bank is now able to introduce term deposits and continue providing loans for consumers and SMEs across Lithuania.
The fintech also has plans to introduce new banking services, including payment cards. Following this, Saldo Bank looks to grow its local team and expand to further countries. The company explained that it will eventually look for professionals in software development, digital marketing, analytics, scoring, risk management, AML/KYC processes and product development.
Saldo Bank’s business model is built on a fully-automated lending engine, looking to streamline customer onboarding and scoring processes. It is able to provide personalised loan offers instantly for all customers.
Jarkko Mäensivu, CEO of Saldo Bank, explained how the fintech is preparing and actioning aims to becoming a progressive neobank. Mäensivu said: “We are ready to provide wider lending services for consumers and SMEs as well as introduce deposits for Lithuanian consumers in April.
“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.”
Preparing for expansion from Lithuania
Saldo Bank’s operations began in Lithuania in 2020. Since its foundation, its office in Vilnius – Lithuania’s capital – grew to employ 35 people at the end of 2022, acting as Saldo Bank’s global headquarters.
Mäensivu explained the decision for Saldo Bank to place its base of operations in Lithuania. He said: “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.”
Elijus Čivilis, general manager at Invest Lithuania, explained the strength of the country’s fintech sector. Čivilis commented: “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.”