LHV Group’s Subsidiary Secures UK Banking Licence
AS LHV Group announces that its subsidiary, LHV UK Limited, has been granted a banking licence from the United Kingdom’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA). The company will operate in the UK under the new name, LHV Bank Limited (LHV Bank). LHV Group now comprises two licenced banks, LHV Pank in Estonia and LHV Bank in the UK.
A banking licence enables LHV Bank to start taking deposits in the UK as a separate, authorised and regulated bank. Until now, LHV operated in the UK under the temporary permissions regime as a branch of Estonian-headquartered retail bank AS LHV Pank. In the coming months, LHV will move all UK-related operations from the UK branch of LHV Pank to LHV Bank Limited. Once the transfer is complete, the UK branch of LHV Pank will be deregistered, and LHV Bank will continue to operate as a separate entity.
The decision to pursue a UK banking licence was made in 2021 to better showcase the Banking Services to payment intermediaries' business line's financial performance and value proposition to investors. LHV Bank submitted its application in March 2022 and has secured the licence in just over a year, demonstrating its commitment to regulatory compliance and high standards. In 2022 the Banking Service business line generated €13m profit for LHV Pank.
Operating in the UK since 2018, LHV Bank currently operates in two business lines – Banking Services to payment intermediaries and SME Lending. In the future, LHV Bank plans to expand its offering to a broader audience, including accepting retail deposits later this year and introducing Banking Services to e-commerce businesses. LHV Bank is fully capitalised, and customer deposits are protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) up to a limit of £85,000.
Comments by Madis Toomsalu, CEO of LHV Group and Chairman of LHV Bank:
"Securing a UK banking licence is a landmark event for us, and receiving the licence in just over a year validates the exceptional work of our team and the professional operation we have established. As an ambitious goal, we expect LHV Bank to achieve profitability already by the end of our first year of operations. Our ability to generate additional capital internally positions us strongly for further growth of banking services, and increasing our loan portfolio in the UK banking market."
LHV Group is the largest domestic financial group and capital provider in Estonia. LHV Group's key subsidiaries are LHV Pank, LHV Varahaldus, and LHV Kindlustus. The Group's companies employ more than 920 people. As of March, LHV's banking services are being used by 391,000 clients, the pension funds managed by LHV have 130,000 active clients, and LHV Kindlustus protects a total of 155,000 clients. LHV Group’s subsidiary, LHV Bank, holds a UK banking licence and operates in two business lines – offering Banking Services for global fintechs and SME Lending solutions for UK businesses.
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