Banking license

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EMI, PI, MSO, MSB licenses

The successful launch of a project in the banking services industry begins with obtaining a banking license. Approval from regulatory authorities enables legal operation as a provider of banking services, scaling the business, providing customers with first-class secure services, and a wide range of offerings, including online and mobile banking.

SBSB Fintech Lawyers provide comprehensive legal support to clients in obtaining various types of banking licenses, including offshore licenses. They are often utilized as the final link in a project’s ecosystem if a business intends to retain its funds in its own bank. This serves as a form of insurance against potential bank bankruptcies, eliminating the need to share commissions with partner banks. We offer consultancy services and assistance with the subsequent maintenance of the obtained authorization.

About Bank License

A banking license is permission from regulatory authorities to engage in activities as a provider of banking services. After the licensing procedure, a company can conduct various banking operations — deposits, lending, financial leasing, conducting payments via bank accounts, financial intermediation, currency exchange, issuing electronic money. The list of services depends on the type of banking license and the country the license is being obtained.

Types of Banking Licenses

There are several types of licenses for activities in the banking sector, classified based on the extent of their functionality:

  • full-function banking license (allows an organization to have branches, accept deposits, and engage in lending activities);
  • virtual banking limited license (provides functionality similar to a traditional bank but operates solely online);
  • license with limitations on the number of services offered (the institution is restricted from providing loans and deposits);
  • territorial restriction license (permits the provision of services only to citizens of the country where the license is obtained);
  • full-service license with limitations on specific service provisions (may involve limits on turnover, user count, or capital reception);
  • combined restriction licenses, encompassing various limitations in a combined manner.

Onshore and offshore licenses are differentiated by the country of registration.

The offshore banking license can be obtained in jurisdictions like St. Lucia, Panama, the Cayman Islands, and the Bahamas, among others, offering a soft tax regime. Regulators issue three types of offshore banking licenses:

  1. International (allows operations with clients outside the country where the bank is located); 
  2. general (permits operations within and beyond the jurisdiction issuing the license); 
  3. restricted (designed for servicing specific target audiences or transnational corporations).

The type of license depends on the chosen jurisdiction. FinTech with banking license can also operate as a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) model. The project “leases” a payment license from another bank offering users licensed financial services. The advantage of operating under a commercial banking license is that the neo-bank bypasses the lengthy and complex licensing stage. This type of launch requires less finances invested.

In Lithuania, besides the universal banking license, it’s possible to obtain a specialized banking license, the difference between them lies in the restrictions on providing investment services, managing investment and pension funds, and other similar types of activities.

There may be other limitations depending on the specific jurisdiction. Each country sets its own rules and approach for categorizing banking licenses. SBSB lawyers assist in obtaining various types of permits for activities in the field of banking services, including a payment bank license, e banking license, and small finance bank license.

Most Popular Jurisdictions for Getting a Banking License

The SBSB team assists in obtaining a banking license in various countries. We offer clients a wide range of jurisdictions and help them choose the most suitable option. When selecting a jurisdiction for a banking license, many nuances need to be considered, including the rules and requirements of regulatory bodies for licensees. Therefore, professional assistance from experienced lawyers is essential.

If needed, we oversee the process of obtaining a turnkey license. Our lawyers will analyze your project, select the optimal type of license, provide consultation, and assist with all matters related to banking licenses.

How to Obtain Banking License

Requirements for the licensing procedure vary in each jurisdiction. Obtaining a banking license includes several stages:

  • company registration according to current local legislation;
  • document preparation, including a business plan, financial forecasts, organizational structure descriptions, policies, and procedures, etc.;
  • submission of an application;
  • regulator assessment, if necessary — interview, request for additional documents or data;
  • approval and issuance of the license for lawful operations.

The licensing procedure is a rather complex and lengthy process. Document preparation in compliance with regulatory norms requires the resolution of legal complexities and expert assistance. We help choose the jurisdiction and the optimal bank considering your requirements and project peculiarities.

Our team provides turnkey services — choosing the type of license and suitable jurisdiction in different regions worldwide, company registration, filling all forms, verifying and assisting with SOF/SOW, drafting license documents, and obtaining permission.

Banking License Cost

The payment required to obtain permission to provide banking services varies depending on the project’s business model, chosen jurisdiction, and license type. We create unique offers for each client.

Why You Should Address SBSB Fintech Lawyers 

The SBSB team provides comprehensive legal support for its clients’ projects from the idea stage to the successful launch and subsequent activity, simplifying the complex licensing process.

Contact us today, and you’ll be able to launch your project worldwide in compliance with regulatory requirements as quickly as possible!

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