LHV UK to issue SME loans

Tuesday 20 December 2022 12:31 CET | News

LHV UK has started issuing small and medium enterprise (SME) loans as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved the company's Annex I financial institution registration.

The Annex I financial institution registration is a prerequisite to issuing loans in the UK under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing, and Transfer of Funds Regulations 2017.

LHV UK issues SME loans as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved the company's Annex I financial institution registration.

Lending to SMEs has been one of the core business areas for LHV UK's parent company LHV Group. In October 2022, LHV UK acquired the SME lending business of regional lender Bank North, including its GBP 17.9 million loan book, 20 sales and support staff, and cooperation agreements with major loan brokers. Since the acquisition, LHV UK has only been able to service the existing customers, but the company's enrollment in the financial services register enables LHV UK to immediately start issuing commercial real-estate-backed loans starting from GBP 500,000.

The team, based in Manchester, form LHV UK's SME lending business and will maintain its regional approach and commit to further developing relationships with local commercial brokers, who are the key drivers for the loan business. In addition to the Manchester office, which will serve the North, LHV UK plans to start issuing loans in the South East from its London headquarters.

Obtaining a banking licence

LHV UK's current primary focus is obtaining a full UK banking licence. The application was submitted in March 2022 and is subject to regulatory approval by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) and the FCA.

The PRA and FCA work in tandem throughout the application process and make independent decisions on authorisation. While the PRA holds the pen on the ultimate authorisation, it may only authorise with FCA’s consent.

The PRA cares primarily about the stability of the financial system. They're going to be concerned with the potential impact on the structure, health, and reputation of the UK's financial services sector. They want new ideas and business models to thrive, but they will not grant licences without the satisfaction that the new business models do not pose a risk to the Bank of England’s objectives.

The FCA cares about how a bank will conduct itself both in the interests of its customers and of the market. Their focus will be on the potential customers and the customer journey, the management team, the approach to financial crime prevention and your operational resilience. Again, the FCA is keen to help new ideas get to market, but not at the risk of customers’ wellbeing.

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Keywords: SMEs, financial services, financial institutions, money laundering, regulation
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: FCA, Financial Conduct Authority, LHV UK
Countries: United Kingdom
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech



Financial Conduct Authority



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