Revolut to ramp up Irish services after securing European Union banking licence

Marco Green
December 16, 2018

The British fintech start-up Revolut has secured a European banking licence that will pave the way for it to launch a comprehensive current account and consumer lending operation across the continent from next year.

The company also plans to break into lending, confirming plans to offer standard overdraft facilities as well as business loans at competitive rates.

"Our vision is that retail and business customers will be able to apply for a loan in just two minutes from within the app, and then have the money in their account nearly instantly", said Nikolay Storonsky, the former Credit Suisse investment banker who is Revolut's founder and chief executive officer.

This is the first banking license Revolut has secured.

"It won't be done in the next six months, but we do expect to be up and running by the end of 2019", a spokesman said.

The fintech firm announced they were granted the license from the European Central Bank (ECB) on 13 December.

The company said it would target U.K., France and Poland and look to passport its Lithuanian banking license to other jurisdictions.

"If we feel a "hard Brexit" happens, we'll definitely need to have a license here", he said.

The company, which launched three years ago allowing customers to transfer money overseas with the real exchange rate, sought the licence partly to "hedge against any issues regarding Brexit", according a source.

Prior to obtaining its Luxembourg banking license, the company has operated under United Kingdom and European Union e-money licenses, which allows it to offer a much more limited set of products.

"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", he added.

Revolut recently received a $1.7 billion valuation following a funding round that raised its total financing to $340 million.

The fintech sector is facing tough competition not only from start-ups but from big banks seeking to take at least some of their businesses digital.

The company says it is opening between 8,000 and 10,000 current accounts daily and transacting over $4 billion per month in volumes. The firm has plans to expand to the U.S.in 2019, as well as Canada, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Storonsky said he's optimistic tech companies like Revolut can turn profits in the financial services sector.

"At the moment we have about 100,000 waiting in the USA without any marketing", he said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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