After the growth restrictions imposed by the German financial regulator Bafin, the Berlin-based digital bank N26 is now also struggling with problems in Italy.
According to exclusive information from Finance Forward, the Italian financial regulator forbids the Berlin neobank from accepting new customers.
When asked, N26 confirmed the corresponding order from the Italian central bank. This calls for “improvements in combating money laundering for the Italian market. The order includes a temporary freeze on taking in new customers,” a spokeswoman said.
Most of the complaints have already been addressed as part of the global action plan to combat increased financial crime. They are working “closely with the Italian regulatory authority” and are “fully concentrating on implementing the improvements comprehensively and in a timely manner”.
The challenger bank has recently had problems with financial supervision, also and especially in Germany, where last autumn the Bafin imposed a Europe-wide limit on new customers for the fintech.
Since then, by far the largest and most valuable German financial start-up has only been allowed to take on 50,000 new customers per month – a heavy burden when trying to defend its position as the leading neobank in core Europe and fend off attacks by Revolut, Vivid Money or Bunq.
Exactly how many customers N26 has in the southern European country has never been communicated. However, it was recently said in financial circles that the Berliners are the market leader among the challenger banks in Italy – as well as in Germany, France and Austria.