Minister of Finance G. Skaistė: “The future of a steadily growing Fintech sector — development, innovation and risk management“


2021 10 12

„Verslo žinių“ organizuotas „Baltic AML Forum“. Ryčio Galadausko nuotr.

After Lithuania achieved a breakthrough in the financial technology (Fintech) sector over the last few years− it is natural that the volume of risks increases, therefore, according to Minister of Finance Gintarė Skaistė, it is very important for market participants and institutions to discuss and find common solutions to the challenges that arise. The Minister spoke about it today at the Baltic Money Laundering Prevention Forum (Baltic AML Forum) organised by UAB Verslo Žinios, financial technology company Bankera and law firm LEADELL.

According to Minister of Finance G. Skaistė, although the Fintech sector is relatively young, it is obvious that it already generates a significant value for both customers and economy as a whole, thus creating high value-added jobs, paying taxes and contributing to the creation of a dynamic start-up ecosystem. It is important to note that this is also reflected in the significant increase in total investment in the Lithuanian technology start-ups.

As the Minister of Finance points out, the Fintech sector is one of the priorities of the Government and therefore the efforts are made to ensure its further development and maturity. As regards both the national context of Fintech sector and current trends, a group of market participants and representatives of the public sector has been formed in order to draw up the Guidelines for the Development of the Lithuanian Fintech Sector in 2022-2027.

“In the light of constantly changing market trends and new opportunities, the Ministry of Finance initiates a working group to carry out a detailed analysis of the sector. This working group, composed of the representatives of the public sector and market participants, will make recommendations on the basis of which the Guidelines for the Development of the Lithuanian Fintech Sector in 2022-2027 will be drawn up," said Minister of Finance G. Skaistė.

It is envisaged that four main strands of the Guidelines will include: the qualitative development and maturity of the sector; promotion of the development and application of innovation; increase in consumption of digital financial services; strengthening of risk management.

“Innovative companies operate without thinking about national borders, therefore, we do not intend to artificially create barriers to the development of the companies. However, we want the value created by Fintech to be reaped by the Lithuanian residents and businesses, therefore, inter alia, we need to focus on the visibility of Fintech services, financial literacy and the establishment and development of business partnerships. At the same time, being aware that security and stability of the financial sector is based on trust, we understand the importance of AML/CFT for individual institutions, for the financial sector as a whole and for our country. Therefore, we will pay special attention to the identification and management of risks both at national and individual level," said Minister G. Skaistė at the Forum.

This year, the European Commission put forward the proposal to strengthen the AML system at European level and a package of new rules on anti-money laundering and cybersecurity risk management, which, according to the Minister, will ensure a uniform implementation of AML/CFT. In addition, this package will lay the foundations for an effective supervisory mechanism at EU level, the centre of which could be established in Lithuania.

“We have set a clear ambition to become the European AML Competence Centre. We have accumulated relevant institutional and regulatory experience in managing risks in the financial sector, in the region we stand out by the supply of the talent pool and the cooperation with the private sector — the Money Laundering Prevention Competence Centre, which unites the private and public sectors, has been established in Lithuania. All this provides a solid basis for claiming the positions of the AML centre", said Ms G. Skaistė.

We would like to point out that the achievements of the Lithuanian financial technology are recognised in the global Fintech indices — we are one of the least risky jurisdictions for money laundering risk, with, respectively, the 9th position in the world and 6th position in the EU Basel AML index rating.