ECB Governing Council Gets New Youngest Member From Lithuania

Lithuania appointed Gediminas Simkus to lead its central bank and take a seat on the European Central Bank’s Governing Council, putting the youngest member on the euro area’s monetary policy-setting body.

Parliament voted 120-0, with 2 abstentions, on Thursday to confirm Simkus for the post of governor. The 43-year-old central bank board member will take up his five-year term as the Baltic country deals with a surge of new financial-market participants from the realm of fintech.

Lithuania, which has been promoting itself as a financial-technology hub for start-ups for the past four years, is seeking to create more competition for its domestic banking sector.

Simkus, who started at the central bank as an economist 18 years ago, has urged for stronger competition for commercial banks in the country, whose financial industry is dominated by Nordic lenders like SEB Bankas AB and Swedbank AB.

He had a two-year stint at the ECB in its financial stability directorate a decade ago and more recently oversaw banking stability in Lithuania.

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