What’s holding up Revolut’s accounts?

By Daniel Lanyon on Friday 13 January 2023

OpinionDigital BankingSavings and InvestmentCrypto

Get **it filed.

What’s holding up Revolut’s accounts?
Image source: Revolut

Central to the success of Revolut, which is undoubtedly one of if not the most highly valued fintech companies in Europe, has been its speed of execution. 

While a number of neobanks and other fintech startup challengers to the traditional banking order have been successful and swift in their growth too, Revolut’s customer growth, international expansion and ability to ship new product features is unmatched. 

VC and angel investors have backed dozens of new startups that have sprung up from its former employees, who tend to proudly display the 'ex-Revolut' moniker as a sign of their experience within a culture of fintech action and accountability. 

Co-founder and CEO Nik Storonsky has emphasised on several occasions the importance speed and timeliness are to the company’s ability to leave pretty much any other neo-banking challenger in its wake when it comes to its unparalleled customer growth. 

It claims c.25 million customers; not bad for a six year-old company.

Speed in filing its accounts doesn’t seem to be as highly valued. Revolut is now overdue in filing its accounts to Companies House in the UK, including with an existing three-month extension already given to it. 

The company last filed its accounts for the year ending 2020, on 23 June 2021. This means it is now nearly seven months later than its usual cadence. 

The phrase “get shit done”, became so synonymous among its ranks that the company even emblazoned the unofficial motto on the wall of its London-based headquarters among the big bank-inhabited skyscrapers of the city’s Canary Wharf. Even to the point some questioned if its working culture was too highly pressurised and focused on delivery.  

The phrase “get shit done”, became so synonymous among its ranks that the company even emblazoned the unofficial motto on the wall of its London-based headquarters among the big bank-inhabited skyscrapers of the city’s Canary Wharf. Even to the point some questioned if its working culture was too highly pressurised and focused on delivery.  

But its account filing delay is starting to gain attention, unhelpful for a financial services company where trust is key. 

We can only speculate as to the reason. 

Revolut had previously said the accounts would be published before the end of 2022. 

However, when this looked unlikely in the days before Christmas a Revolut spokesperson told AltFi

“Our accounts are finalised and we expect to confirm the previously reported news that we are profitable. We are very proud of this and intend to file the accounts in the new year.”

AltFi has been told there is no change to this statement near the midpoint of January. 

Accountants, eh?

In the UK, the Financial Reporting Council oversee and regulate the filing of company accounts.  

The FRC in a report published in July 2022 criticised Revolut’s auditor BDO for what it said was inadequate its “approach to revenue recognition” for one “financial services provider”. This could mean “the risk of an undetected material misstatement was unacceptably high.”

According to the Financial Times, this “financial services provider” was no less than Revolut. 

Could this be the source of the delay? Greater scrutiny of its accounts by regulators and its auditor by extension?

Regardless, the stakes are high for Revolut which is still gunning for a key milestone ahead of an exit: a UK banking license.

Storonsky has also made a public statement that the company is operationally, or at least very nearly, profitable in recent months. 

He also said over the summer of 2022 that the company was well capitalised with 24 months of funding. 

There is no suggestion that either of these statements is not true but the timing is clearly apposite.

2023 is a crunch year for the firm which doubled down on growth during the pandemic as well as shifting its strategy to focus on costs and revenues as well as swelling its customer ranks.

It seems likely to firm will need to focus on either an IPO or another funding round, or both in due course, too.

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