N26 in hot water with the German financial regulator

By Oliver Smith on Thursday 11 April 2019

Digital Banking

Revolut, WireCard, and now N26 is in trouble.

N26 in hot water with the German financial regulator
Image source: Maximilian Tayenthal and Valentin Stalf

Germany’s digital bank N26, which launched in the UK last year, is being investigated for reported fraudulent transactions and issues with the bank’s staff.

The investigation, led by Germany’s Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin), was first reported by Handelsblatt which detailed that a special audit had led to the regulator ordering changes at the bank.

“As all licensed banks, N26 is subject to regular internal and external independent audits, including those by the German financial regulatory body BaFin,” N26 CEO Valentin Stalf wrote in a statement.

"It is normal that during such an audit regulators identify points of improvement. We take the findings of every audit very serious and address areas of improvement as quickly as possible."

The news comes after London-based banking app Revolut was reportedly investigated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) over compliance concerns, and a separate investigation may also be underway after The Telegraph reported issues with Revolut’s failure to block suspicious transactions.

N26 is currently valued at $2.7bn with 2.5m customers across Europe and having launched in the UK in October.

Last month N26 appointed Will Sorby, a former Bain & Company consultant, as UK general manager to lead the bank’s expansion.

N26’s Stalf told Handelsblatt that the bank was in "close contact” with BaFin and was taking the process very seriously.

Meanwhile German payments firm Wirecard has been caught in an accounting scandal involving its Singapore office, first reported by the Financial Times.

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