Estonian bank business transfer scheme permitted

The court has sanctioned a business transfer scheme under section 111 FSMA for Estonian bank AS LHV Pank (LHV) to transfer the deposit-taking, banking and regulated payment services business currently being carried on in the UK by its UK branch, to LHV UK, a wholly owned subsidiary of the group holding company.

Prior to Brexit, LHV was entitled to provide these regulated services in the UK under the passporting regime. Its UK branch currently operates under the temporary permissions regime which expires 31 December 2023. As at 31 March, the UK branch had total assets of £166,470,322 and deposits of £103,324,107.

The court sanctioned the scheme because as well as meeting the relevant statutory requirements:

  • it gives effect to a reasonable commercial objective, namely the subsidiarisation of LHV’s UK branch;
  • there has been close co-operation with, and oversight by, PRA in the development of the scheme; and
  • LHV conducted an extensive additional (voluntary) communication programme.

Laura Wiles