Revolut, a fintech banking startup, has been finally given a full European banking licence. It comes more than a year after the company first applied for authorisation in Lithuania.
As such, the banking-app-turned bank has revealed its plans for full current accounts in Europe, as well as its future efforts in the development of its own consumer lending product.
The startup is set to launch with the licence in smaller European nations at the beginning of next year. It will be followed by an eventual passporting of the licence into the United Kingdom and other principal markets within a period of three to six months.
It was unclear how this might work should the financial passporting laws be abolished as part of Brexit.
Nikolay Storonsky, the co-founder and chief of Revolut, said that the vision of the digital bank is to compete with traditional lenders, enabling both business and retail users to apply for a loan in under two minutes.
He added: “We’ll remove the bureaucratic process and come in cheaper than traditional lenders.”
Currently, the app allows its users to apply for loans through a partnership with Lending Works, a fellow fintech company in the United Kingdom. A spokesperson for Revolut said that their relationship with the latter will remain in place alongside its own offering.
The fintech company is said to be in negotiations with Softbank, the Japanese mega-investor, regarding a new investment amounting to $500 million (£394.8 million). It opens between 8,000 and 10,000 current accounts daily. Even though it temporarily broke even on a monthly basis this time in 2017, it has struggled to sustain continuous profitability.
It plans to launch its services in other countries such as the United States have been under pressure in the past months because of the strict regulatory environment of the country.
The news comes after Revolut secured an authorisation in Japan and Singapore last week. It will be operating under a similar licence to that of its e-money licence in the United Kingdom that was granted by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Storonsky stated: “With the banking licence now secured, commission-free stock trading progressing well and five new international markets at final stages of launch, we are living up to our reputation as the ‘Amazon of banking’.”