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Saldo Bank Launches Operations in Sweden, Hoping to Increase ‘Fairness’ of Local Interest Rates

Saldo Bank, the Finnish digital neobank, is starting its operations in Sweden; arriving in the country with high-interest rates on fixed-term deposits.

Saldo Bank offers an interest rate of as much as five per cent for a year’s deposit. According to Saldo CEO, Jarkko Mäensivu, the fintech is all about increasing ‘fairness’ in fixed-term deposits. The digital neobank with a Finnish background also hopes it can lift the interest rate competition of the fixed-term deposits to a new level in Sweden.

The bank, which will start operating in Sweden this month, is looking to offer a drastically more attractive option than other local competitors. According to the comparison website Compricer, the next highest offer sits at 4.4 per cent. This plan has worked before; when the bank started in Finland in October 2023, several Finnish banks had to raise their own interest rates.

Mäensivu explains: “In our opinion, the interest paid on the fixed-term accounts has been very low for a long time. Interest rates paid to customers should reflect at least market interest rates.”

Targeting Sweden is a key plan for the digital bank, which is looking to use local funds to grow its loan portfolio in the country. Ultimately, Saldo Bank is trying to develop into a digital international bank that provides digital banking services to consumers and, eventually, businesses.

Backed by the Lithuanian fintech hub

Currently, Saldo Bank only operates online in Sweden, with no intention of establishing a branch network there. Saldo Bank offers consumers fully automated loan solutions and fixed-term deposit services.

The company’s advanced scoring and analytics system ensures responsible lending, and its own lending system also supports international business growth.

Saldo Bank has a Finnish background. However, the company’s core banking operations are in Lithuania and are supervised by the Bank of Lithuania. In addition, Saldo Bank’s technology development centre is located in Vilnius, after establishing itself in Lithuania in 2021. Saldo Bank also holds a specialised bank licence from the European Central Bank and employs a team of over 60 people.

“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,”  Mäensivu explained last year.

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