Revolut lands European banking licence after year-long wait

By Ryan Weeks on 13th December 2018

Challenger Banks

The bank is now planning major product expansion.

Revolut’s style is to do a lot of things, at a rapid pace. True to form, the banking challenger has now been granted a European banking licence, barely a year removed from announcing its intention to get one.  

By comparison, fellow fintech firm Zopa – which had its licence approved a few weeks ago – took around two years to secure its licence.

The key difference is that Revolut has been granted its licence by regulators in Lithuania, which some commentators have suggested is a form of regulatory ‘shortcut’.

But shortcut or not, the licence will give Revolut the power to roll out banking operations across the European Union, including full current accounts, loans and a commission-free stock trading tool.

Its plan is to first focus on smaller European countries. Ultimately, it will passport its licence into key markets such as France, Germany and Poland. The firm has said that it will do the same for the UK market, but quite whether that will be possible under post-Brexit arrangements is up for debate. It will take Revolut 3-6 months to begin passporting its banking licence to larger markets.

Any deposits collected by Revolut will be protected up to €100,000 under the European Deposit Scheme.

Its planned loan products include overdrafts, personal loans and business loans. In March 2017, Revolut struck a partnership with P2P platform Lending Works, allowing it to offer credit to its customers. But AltFi broke the news in March of this year that the firm planned to underwrite its own business loans, and in July we published a story revealing that Revolut would bring its consumer loans in-house.

Revolut is also in the middle of an ambitious international expansion plan, with launches in the United States, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand all expected early next year.

“With the banking licence now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the 'Amazon of banking'. Our vision is simple: one app with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology”, said Nik Storonsky, founder and CEO of Revolut.

 

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