The company’s co-founder admits that rushing for a global expansion has caused N26 to drop behind in crypto and equities trading.
N26 left two critical fintech markets – the US and the UK – as it plans to “sharpen its focus on its European business”.
The company was also hit by several restrictions from the German watchdog, the BaFin, partly due to a lack of anti-money laundering controls.
BaFin ruled that N26, which received an average of 170,000 new clients per month last year, could not embark more than 50,000 customers per month.
Co-founder and co-CEO Max Tayenthal said he expects the condition to be lifted by late summer 2022.
However, the most recent fundraising was worth more than $800 million and N26’s total valuation now exceeds $8 billion.
“Should we have built trading and crypto instead of launching in the US? In hindsight, it might have been a smart idea,” N26 co-founder and co-chief executive Max Tayenthal told the Financial Times in an interview.
Tayenthal acknowledged that in recent months the bank had realised that “we were spreading ourselves extremely thinly”, adding that there are “so many things we can work on instead of putting flags in new markets”.
N26’s biggest competitor in Europe – Revolut – launched crypto trading few years ago already and its valuation is almost three times higher than the German company.