British fintech unicorn Revolut wins banking licence


The British fintech start-up Revolut has secured a European banking licence that can pave the way in which for it to launch a complete present account and client lending operation throughout the continent from subsequent yr.

Sky Information has learnt that Revolut, which launched three years in the past, will announce on Thursday that it has been granted a banking licence precisely a yr after it lodged its utility.

The licence course of, which was undertaken in Lithuania however has been authorized by the European Central Financial institution, will permit the corporate to passport into the UK throughout a post-Brexit transition interval.

Nevertheless, insiders stated that Revolut additionally supposed to hunt a full UK banking licence because it targets a self-proclaimed ambition of changing into ‘the Amazon of banking’.

By acquiring its inaugural financial institution licence in Europe, Revolut joins fintech start-ups comparable to N26 and Zopa, which have taken related steps in current months.

Revolut was arrange by Nik Storonsky, a former funding banker, as a debit card operation enabling customers to spend cash in quite a few currencies with no charges utilizing the interbank trade charge.

It has since added quite a lot of merchandise, together with fundamental present accounts, and claims to be signing up 8000 prospects day by day.

Sources stated the brand new banking licence would allow prospects to deposit their salaries in Revolut accounts, whereas the fintech agency would goal to start providing overdrafts and private and enterprise loans at aggressive charges from 2019.

The corporate is prone to start its rollout of a broader banking supply in smaller European international locations earlier than utilizing its EU-based licence to launch them within the UK, France and Germany.

It then goals to maneuver additional afield, and has stated it’s concentrating on enlargement into the US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Revolut has raised lots of of hundreds of thousands of from traders together with DST World, which backed Fb and Spotify throughout their infancy.

The corporate is now valued at nicely over $2bn, and is anticipated to view the newest developments as a springboard for a a lot loftier valuation when it subsequent raises cash.

Revolut was not too long ago reported to have been holding talks with the SoftBank Imaginative and prescient Fund, the huge capital pool backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, Apple and the Japanese know-how firm SoftBank.

Nevertheless, it has additionally confronted materials challenges, together with this yr when it reported suspected cash laundering transactions on its funds system.

Like many tech start-ups of their first 5 years of operation, Revolut stays loss-making though it broke even on a month-to-month foundation final December.

A Revolut spokesman declined to touch upon having secured its banking licence.