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Nik Storonsky criticises UK banking licence delay as Revolut continues global expansion

The company has been waiting for its banking licence since January 2021.

a man and a woman sitting on a couch

Vlad Yatsenko & Nik Storonsky/Revolut.

Global financial super app Revolut—with 18 million customers, operating in 36 countries and rolling out to five new countries—still does not have a banking licence in the UK.

Revolut’s CEO and co-founder Nik Storonsky today criticised the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) for its slow progress towards granting them a banking licence, telling City A.M, that the FCA is “slower compared to other regulators”.

The app currently operates as a fully-licenced Revolut Bank in 29 countries, first rolling out to ten countries in the EU in March 2021 and gradually adding more since.

Revolut filed for its banking licence in the UK in January 2021 and is still waiting.

“We applied for 48 licences across the globe and we received 44, and three of the licences that we haven’t received are actually in the UK,” Storonsky told City A.M.

He called for “stricter timelines”, more people or “more efficient people” to speed the process along.

Revolut stressed, however, that it takes its regulatory and compliance obligations extremely seriously, stating that its relationships with UK regulators are some of the most long-standing and productive.

The FCA said in a statement that it does not comment on individual cases, but reviews banking applications to “ensure they meet the standards [it] expect[s]”.

The regulatory body also said it brought in 200 new employees in the first three months of this year.

While the company waits for its UK banking licence, it continues to power ahead at full force with its global expansion, aiming to launch in up to 90 countries by the end of the year.

A “streamlined” version of the app is now launching in Sri Lanka, Chile, Ecuador, Azerbaijan and Oman over the next few months.

The app will be a back-to-basics look for Revolut, offering just money transfer capabilities.

It is unclear whether further features will be rolled out down the line, but for now, it is starting out with just the ability to send and receive money, and there is a waitlist for those looking to try it out.

Revolut is redefining how to send and receive money by simplifying the process of international transfers, offering competitive fees, and always providing the best possible exchange rate,” Revolut co-founder and chief technology officer Vlad Yatsenko said.

“Traditional transfers can sting customers with hidden fees, but we’re waiving all our transfer fees if you’re both on Revolut — no matter where you are.”

Revolut says it is offering the “best possible exchange rate” it can, and customers will be able to transfer money to more than 50 countries in more than 30 currencies.

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