Bank of Lithuania revokes licence of Wirecard scandal FinTech

Lithuania’s central bank has revoked the licence of UAB Finolita Union, which is suspected to have stolen over €100 million from Wirecard weeks before the company collapsed.

The move comes nearly a month after EU lawmakers urged Lithuania to tighten its financial oversight after it was revealed that the Vilnius-based FinTech was involved in the scandal.

The Bank of Lithuania said that having completed an investigation started in autumn, it had revoked the company’s license for “severe infringements of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements.”

In June 2020, the German financial market supervisory authority acknowledged that Wirecard was facing problems in its operations.

The central bank said that having swiftly identified connections of UAB Finolita Unio with the
Wirecard companies, it immediately initiated enhanced supervision of the company’s operations.

After performing the analysis, in autumn 2020, it started an ad-hoc investigation of the institution’s activities.

In order to temporarily distance the company from the influence of Senjo Group Pte. Ltd., its main shareholder, the majority of the voting rights in the company were transferred to an independent company Valnetas.

“The investigation conducted by the Bank of Lithuania revealed that UAB Finolita Unio treated anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements in a very careless and irresponsible manner and made many severe infringements in this field,” said the bank in a statement.

It added that the FinTech failed to assess money laundering and terrorist financing risks of its customers, acted with negligence when establishing and checking identity of its customers and beneficial owners, failed to identify the nature of activities of legal entities, improperly monitored business relationships and operations of customers, and failed to comply with the requirements related to the implementation of international financial sanctions and enforcement measures.

According to the bank, the company also inadequately monitored the operations performed by the persons related to the company and did not analyse the grounds and objectives of large transactions made by these persons.

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