LHV UK secures banking licence from the PRA

SME lender, LHV UK, has been authorised as a credit institution by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), becoming the first institution to receive a banking licence without restrictions in 2023.

Related topics:  Commercial,  Commercial finance
Rozi Jones
3rd May 2023
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"We expect LHV Bank to achieve profitability by the end of our first year of operations."

The bank will now transition from a branch of Estonian AS LHV Pank to a fully authorised UK bank regulated by both the PRA and FCA.

The decision to pursue a UK banking licence was made in 2021, and LHV submitted its application in March 2022.

LHV UK Limited will shortly submit an application to change its name to LHV Bank.

LHV Bank operates in two business lines – banking services and SME lending, with plans to accept retail deposits and expand its offering for e-commerce businesses.

SME lending offerings

Last year, LHV Bank acquired Bank North’s SME lending business line and received regulatory clearance from the FCA to start issuing SME loans.

LHV Bank offers commercial real estate investment loans and trading loans starting from £0.5m to SMEs in the UK, with brokers serving as the primary sales channel for SME loans.

LHV Bank says it now plans to "establish a robust lending business quickly", with operations in Manchester and London.

Madis Toomsalu, chairman of LHV Bank, said: “Receiving the licence without restrictions in just over a year since submitting our application validates the exceptional work of our team and the professional operation we’ve built. We expect LHV Bank to achieve profitability by the end of our first year of operations. Our ability to generate additional capital internally positions us strongly for further growth in the dynamic UK banking market.”

Erki Kilu, CEO of LHV Bank, added: “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.”

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