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Revolut seeking UK banking license because of Brexit

Revolut is preparing to submit a banking license application to the Bank of England and hopes to secure it before the end of the year.

The move comes after operating for five years in Britain, with the challenger bank deeming it necessary due to the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) at the end of January.

The bank has taken other steps to deal with the Brexit, including shifting of its payment regulatory responsibilities to Lithuania and Ireland, as its CEO of banking Richard Davies, recently announced.

Related: UK’s most valuable fintech startup? Revolut!

The challenger bank Revolut bagged a $500 million investment from TCV last month, valuing it at $5.5 billion right behind its US challenger counterpart Chime ($5.8 billion).

More banking licenses will help Revolut grow sustainability – something its investors will want it to achieve over the next few years.

German challenger N26 left the UK last month, citing license issues as its reason for severing ties with British customers. N26 reasoned that applying for a UK banking license would require “complex regulatory measures” as well as “significant operational processes and costs”.

Nikolay Stronsky (right), Revolut CEO

Securing a full banking license in the UK is necessary for Revolut to start holding deposits on its own, and not have to rely on rivals, such as Barclays, to do it for the startup.

Read also: Revolut => Open banking? Yes in the U.K.

The bank claims over 10 million customers around the world, with more than one-third — 3.5 million — based in the UK. With the UK being a part of the EU, Revolut did not have to obtain a full banking license for the country until now. Applying for such a license was never ruled out, however, but it also never made a formal application.

The company also made steps to reassure the UK regulators that it is in safe hands, by bolstering its board with the appointment of Goldman Sach veteran Michael Sherwood and form senior RBS executive Ian Wilson as non-executive directors last week. It has also appointed former co-chief executive of Standard Life Aberdeen Martin Gilbert as chairman in November.

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Jan Cerny
Jan is an innovation enthusiast and Fintech news reporter. He specializes in news distribution, social media, and content analysis.

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