Forget about BREXIT, its ‘BRENTRY’ for Estonia’s LHV Bank as it launches UK branch

At a time when BREXIT is forcing many large banking groups to consider exiting Britain, LHV Bank (‘LHV’) (TAL: LHV1T), Estonia’s third largest bank, is doing the opposite and expanding into the UK as it bids to become a leading service provider to London’s burgeoning fintech sector. LHV, an established payment partner for leading global fintechs, is opening a branch in London and to mark this strategic milestone it is holding a topical panel discussion “Will Global cities prevail over countries” on 19th March, as part of the Innovate Finance Global Summit 2018.

LHV has set up shop in London to develop the bank’s existing business line of servicing financial intermediaries, such as fintechs, payment providers, and lenders. LHV already provides payments services to leading fintechs including Transferwise and Coinbase which provides it with an excellent platform with which to influence the ongoing development of the rapidly emerging fintech scene.  The new UK branch will allow LHV to join Pound Payments Systems and provide financial intermediaries with a real-time euros and sterling payments service. LHV is already a direct member of the Euro Payments System and a contributor to the Instant Payments System working group.

The UK opening event includes a captivating panel discussion on the topic “Will Global cities prevail over countries”. Voicing their opinions will be Mr Toomas Hendrik Ilves, the former president of Estonia, an expert in crypto currencies and cyber defence, also Mr Peter Vesterbacka, a visionary entrepreneur and Mark Yeandle, the lead author and co-creator of the Global Financial Centres Index.  The panel will be hosted by Mr Sten Tamkivi, a start-up entrepreneur and a member of LHV’s supervisory board.

LHV UK is currently recruiting and intends to be in a position to start servicing new financial intermediaries H2 2018. At that point, LHV will provide banking services for fintechs, including real-time payments, overdraft facilities, and forex. The bank does not plan to offer services to retail customers or regular business clients in London.

Andres Kitter, Manager of the LHV Bank UK Branch, commented: “We are an influencer bank. Thanks to our open approach we have become a partner to many new generation fintechs and serve as a link between them and existing banking infrastructure. As many international banks look down in bewilderment at new financial intermediaries and often do not bother to look closely into their businesses and the huge benefits they offer, we at LHV welcome new ideas, promote open banking and work closely with fintechs to turn their innovative ideas into reality.

“Against the backdrop of Brexit, many banks are thinking about withdrawing from London, but we are eager to swim against the current. London is without doubt one of the most important financial centres in the world where fintech companies around Europe and the world have gathered. Many of our clients have set their sights on London and so have we.”