Fintech unicorn Revolut gets European banking licence
Revolut users will soon be able to open a full European bank account.
Digital banking challenger Revolut has been granted a European banking licence and has announced plans to expand its services, including in the UK. These include full current accounts, loans and share trading.
Revolut customers’ deposits will be protected up to €100,000 (around £90,000) by the European Deposit Insurance Scheme. Revolut will be able to offer a wider range of financial products, and says it is planning to launch overdraft options, personal and business loans and commission-free stock trading.
“Our vision is simple: one app with 10s 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.
Storonsky founded Revolut together with Vlad Yatsenko in 2015. The company now has more than 2 million users and is expected to launch in the US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Australia and New Zealand in 2019.
Before Brexit, UK residents would be able to have a Revolut bank account under this licence. It’s still unclear what will happen to companies that have a European banking licence and want to keep operating in the UK after Brexit, but Revolut said that it was planning on applying for a UK banking licence regardless of the Brexit deal.
The Financial Times reported that Revolut’s licence was granted by Lithuanian authorities and that Revolut’s expansion plans will start from there before moving to other European markets, such as the UK, France and Poland.
Revolut is only the latest challenger to seek and obtain a full banking licence: Monzo and Starling, for example, own a UK banking licence, whereas N26 has a European one. A full banking licence allows digital challengers to compete with traditional banks more effectively, offering better security and more financial products.