Revolut Applies for U.K. Banking License
(Bloomberg) -- Revolut Ltd., one of Europe’s largest startups, has asked U.K. regulators for a full banking license to fuel expansion beyond its fintech roots.
The license would enable Revolut to offer overdrafts, loans and deposit accounts, it said in a statement Monday. The firm would also be covered by the U.K.’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protects customer deposits of 85,000 pounds ($114,700) or below if a business goes bust.
Launched in 2015 by Nikolay Storonsky, Revolut offers a growing number of services through its app, including a prepaid debit card with no overseas transaction fees, foreign currency transfers, budgeting tools and cryptocurrency trading. The company was valued at $5.5 billion in a private fundraising round last year.
After facing increased regulatory scrutiny, the firm hired several London finance veterans to help develop its banking services. Martin Gilbert, former head of asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen Plc, took over as chairman in 2019 and was joined on the board last year by Michael Sherwood, once a key figure at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The company also brought in former Standard Chartered Group Plc executive Richard Holmes as an adviser in October.
Revolut already holds an e-money license in the U.K., which allows it to offer digital cash alternatives and online payments. The firm obtained a European banking license in Lithuania in 2018 that it’s using to roll out banking services in central Europe.
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