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Revolut CEO hopeful that UK banking licence is coming soon

Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky is confident that the company should have a UK banking licence in the near future.
Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky is confident that the company should have a UK banking licence in the near future. Copyright Revolut
Copyright Revolut
By Indrabati Lahiri
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The fintech company saw record full-year pre-tax profits in 2023, and hopes that will help convince the UK authorities to grant it a banking licence.


Revolut CEO and founder Nikolay Storonsky says he is confident that the fintech company will receive a UK banking licence in the near future, following the company's record pre-tax profits for 2023. He made the comments in an interview with CNBC.

The fintech giant's journey to secure a UK banking licence began in January 2021 but, since then, it has faced a series of obstacles and delays. The company received a full banking licence from the European Central Bank (ECB) in 2021 together with an EU banking licence in 2018, received through Lithuania. 

It has been operating as a licensed bank in 30 countries since last year. 

Storonsky believes that Revolut’s sheer size, rather than any specific problems with the company itself, may be giving the UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) pause at the moment, with more due diligence checks required.  

Revolut saw a net profit of £344 million (€405.19 million) in 2023, along with a revenue of £1.8 billion, which was a 95% increase from the £0.92 billion seen in 2022. Profit before tax came in at £438 million last year. 

The number of retail customers saw a 45% jump to 38.0 million, up from 26.2 million in 2022, with monthly transactions, as of December 2023 jumping to £590 million, up from £341 million. 

Storonsky said in the full-year financial results for 2023: "Revolut is already one of the leading financial institutions across many of our markets and continues to grow rapidly. In 2023, our customer base reached 38.0 million, with a massive 11.8 million new customers joining Revolut - the highest ever in our history. 

"We ended the year with Revolut being the most downloaded app in the finance category in Europe, ranking first in 11 countries, and in the top three in 21 countries across Europe. We expanded to New Zealand and Brazil, our first market in South America. Our progress was also recognised through a number of industry awards for quality of product and innovation."

Why has Revolut's UK banking licence been so delayed?

Revolut has seen quite some delays in its mission to secure a UK banking licence, despite already operating as a licensed bank in several other jurisdictions. 

One of the main reasons for this has been the uncertainty seen in the global banking sector in the past couple of years, especially since the folding of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). Although the latter happened in the US, the collapse of Credit Suisse, and its subsequent acquisition by UBS is speculated to have hit much closer to home for UK authorities. This has led to more stringent checks for banking licences. 

Another important factor has been that Revolut's share structure has not been compliant with the Prudential Regulation Authority's requirements, leading to the fintech firm having to amend this speedily. This was done by partnering with SoftBank, in order to convert its shares into a more acceptable structure. 

Furthermore, Revolut has also had issues due to delaying publishing its 2021 and 2022 financial statements, as well as facing more scrutiny by auditors when it came to checking the legitimacy of the company's revenue. 

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