E-Money license UK

EMI license UK

The United Kingdom continues to be one of the top jurisdictions for obtaining an EMI (Electronic Money Institution) financial license. Please note that this permission is a prerequisite for legal activities related to the growing popularity of electronic payments.

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What are the benefits of licensing?

A company that has obtained an e money license UK can operate worldwide.

By becoming an e-money institution (this is the status given by the EMI license), you can perform many functions available to traditional banking organizations. The only limitations are lending activities and the attraction of clients' money for deposits.

Holders of electronic money license UK can interact with various financial institutions of different levels and provide the following services to legal entities and individuals:

  • Open IBAN accounts
  • Receive SWIFT accounts
  • Issue MasterCard and VISA payment cards
  • Open correspondent accounts all over the world remotely
  • Accept and execute money payments worldwide in different currencies
  • Conduct other financial activities not prohibited by law

EMI license gives the right to emit electronic money, issue payment instruments and acquiring, and provide services for:

  • Adding and holding monetary assets in payment accounts
  • Money transfers
  • Cash withdrawals from payment accounts
  • Conducting almost any payment transactions, including direct debit and credit transfers
  • Cryptocurrency operations

Compared to banking institutions, e-money institutions are more flexible. They are not subject to strict bank regulations and supervision.

Types of EMI license UK

Two types of licenses can be issued in the United Kingdom:

  1. Full (classic) license AEMI (Authorized Electronic Money Institution), which allows you to provide the full range of services, including in the European economic area (for this purpose, it is necessary to pass a simplified passporting procedure in any EU country).
  2. SEMI license, which is suitable for small companies with an estimated average monthly turnover of less than 3 million euros. As a small e-money institution, the company can provide its services only in the UK.

Licensing implies the payment of state fees. When obtaining AEMI, the fee is GBP 5,000. For a SEMI payment license, you must pay £1,000.

Features of issuing the UK EMI license

  • The legislation of Great Britain allows obtaining an EMI license both for residents and foreigners. The founders and shareholders of the e-money institution can be individuals and entities, residents and non-residents of the country. However, only a resident can act as an applicant, that is, the company must be registered in the UK.
  • Financial activities in the field of electronic money in the UK, as well as in the European Union, are regulated by EU Directive 2009/110/EC.
  • However, the United Kingdom also has its regulations established by the Regulation on Electronic Money, issued by the local central regulator — the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The FCA is responsible for licensing and supervision. The Authority carries out an annual audit of current EMI licensees.

Requirements for licensees

UK e money license applicants must be prepared for stringent conditions regarding HR issues and AML policies:

  • Company registration and an actual head office in a UK jurisdiction are prerequisites when applying. The e-money institution must be managed within the country. Board meetings can only be held in England; operational decisions must also be taken locally. Only a UK resident may be appointed as the CEO.
  • An applicant for an e money license UK can be a person over 18 years of age, with no restrictions from the regulatory authorities of the UK and the EU. A mandatory condition is the availability of documents confirming the source of income.
  • The number of foreign employees in the staff of the company cannot exceed the number of residents. The decisions of the resident director are dominant. Mandatory requirement for managers is the availability of appropriate qualifications and an impeccable business reputation.
  • To obtain a full e money license uk cost, it is necessary to pay an authorized capital of 350 thousand euros. This amount must be retained throughout the operation of the company.

The procedure for applying for a license

Before applying, the applicant must open a firm, purchase or lease an office, and hire employees. A bank account is opened after the request has been reviewed by FCA.

To obtain a UK e money license, an applicant must submit a filled-out application form and prepare an extensive package of documents:

  • Articles of Incorporation.
  • A detailed business plan and description of the operations to be performed.
  • Financial forecast.
  • Organizational structure, management mechanisms. Information about company management. Comprehensive information about the founders/shareholders and top management of the company.
  • Risk analysis policy. AML policy. Description of the internal controls. Liability agreements. Description of the measures taken to protect client funds. A detailed description of customer identification procedures and prevention of money laundering.
  • Evidence of initial capital.
  • Information about the firm that will conduct the audit, etc.

Three months are given for review of the application. However, FCA has the right to request additional documents, and, in general, the assessment and decision to issue an e money license UK can take up to one year.

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