Berlin-based digital bank N26, which is a rival to Revolut and Monzo, is closing accounts for UK on 15 April. “We will be unable to operate in the UK with our EU banking license so we will be leaving the UK and closing all accounts” is the official N26’s statement. Customers were told to transfer funds to an alternative bank account by the cut off date, and top up accounts with negative balances.
The bank, which had a significant marketing push after launch, only started offering current accounts in the UK after the EU referendum. With about 200,000 customers, it was one of the smaller operators in the UK.
Thomas Grosse, chief banking officer at N26, said: “While we respect the political decision that has been taken, it means that N26 will be unable to serve our customers in the UK and will have to leave the market.”
However, rivals and fintech experts questioned whether the bank had simply given up after struggling to gain momentum in the unusually tough UK market. John Cronin, a financial analyst at the stockbroker Goodbody, said: “It’s quite a competitive market. N26 certainly made some inroads from a savings perspective. But the challenge is on the other side of the balance sheet in terms of monetizing deposits.”
As part of the announcement to leave the UK market, Will Sorby, the general manager of N26 UK, said: “We would like to thank all N26 customers for their support. We’ve planned the next steps carefully to ensure this process is as smooth as possible for every customer in the UK.”