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LHV Bank lands UK banking license

LHV has been active in the UK since 2018 and says it works with over 200 fintechs including Airwallex, Currencycloud, Truelayer, and Wise.

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Erki Kilu/LHV Bank

LHV UK has secured a UK banking license, one year after submitting its application.

LHV Bank, as it is now known, is the UK arm of Estonian financial services giant AS LHV Pank, but now will operate as a separate bank in its own right. 

The bank will begin to accept retail customer deposits later in 2023 as it transitions from operating under the temporary permissions regime as a branch of the Estonian bank.

This will mean its customer deposits are protected up to £85,000 by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The move follows its acquisition of the loan book of Bank North, a failed SME neo bank, in October 2022, which helped LHV Bank to enter the SME lending market.

LHV has been active in the UK since 2018 and says it works with over 200 fintechs including Airwallex,Currencycloud,Truelayer, and Wise.

It is a member of all major UK and EU payment schemes allowing it to provide real-time multi-currency cloud native payments s well as broader banking infrastructure services such as current and savings accounts, acquiring, indirect scheme access, open banking, and FX services.

“In addition to our existing Banking Services and SME Lending activities, we plan to start accepting retail deposits later this year and expand our banking solutions offering to e-commerce businesses, maintaining the same level of convenience, reliability, and security that our existing clients have come to expect,” said Erki Kilu, CEO of LHV Bank.

LHV Bank,  which has a team of 130 employees and offices in London, Leeds, Manchester and Tallinn, says it will achieve profitability by the end of its first year of operations as a bank.

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