Politics

Politics

EU and UK begin talks on post-Brexit relationship

02-03-2020

With Brexit "done" as far as London is concerned, UK and EU negotiators on Monday begin talks aimed at forging a futur...

Politics

Greek islanders block migrant boat from landing

01-03-2020

A group of local people on the Greek island of Lesbos on Sunday stopped around 50 migrants, including children, from l...

Politics

NATO offers Turkey solidarity but no pledges after Syria t…

28-02-2020

NATO on Friday offered solidarity and support to Ankara after at least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in Syria -- but...

Politics

UK must accept 'common' standards for deal with EU: Barnie…

26-02-2020

The EU's chief negotiator with the UK, Michel Barnier, emphasised Wednesday that Britain must accept standards on a pa...

Politics

EU warns Britain to keep to Brexit promises

25-02-2020

EU ministers gathering Tuesday to adopt a joint negotiating stance on future ties with Britain warned London it must f...

Worried over Brexit uncertainty, dozens of fintech companies have applied for licences in Lithuania to secure access to the EU market, the Baltic state's central bank

said Tuesday. Fintech refers to IT companies developing new software, applications or business models for the financial sector.

"We expect to receive around 100 applications from fintech companies this year," Marius Jurgilas, a member of the board at the central bank, told AFP.

The Lithuanian fintech cluster already includes over 110 licensed companies, second only to Britain in the European Union, while another 61 applications are under review, according to central bank figures.

The surge is driven by speedy processing and fears that British licences may lose rights to provide payment or e-money services to EU customers after Britain leaves the bloc as expected on March 29.

"Brexit is certainly encouraging those firms who need the EU market to seek locations and licences in EU states," Jurgilas said.

The recent newcomers in Lithuania, a eurozone nation of 2.8 million people, include Google's payment arm and Revolut, a British digital-only bank.

Jurgilas admitted the drive received attention from the "shadow economy" but said the central bank has stepped up efforts to prevent money laundering, including a new department for e-money supervision and closer ties with security agencies.

"The Lithuanian central bank is extremely cautious with persons who have links to tax havens," Jurgilas said.afp