US regulators have no application from Revolut for banking license

abdelaziz Fathi

Britain’s most valuable start-up, Revolut has not yet submitted a final application for a US banking license, despite announcing its intention to do so over two years ago.

In 2021, the fintech firm stated that it had filed a draft application for a US banking license with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI).

However, a final application has not been submitted, leaving Revolut’s plans for a US banking license in limbo. This delay raises questions about the neobank’s expansion strategy in the United States, a critical market for fintech companies.

Both regulators confirmed that they have no record of such an application from Revolut. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), another regulator through which fintech firm Monzo had bid for a US license, also has no record of Revolut’s application.

At the time, Revolut’s application was the latest example of one of a new breed of digital challengers seeking to become a regulated bank. In the same year, payments giant Square won approval to start a bank.

Obtaining a US banking charter is known to be challenging, particularly for fintechs. Currently, Revolut offers banking services in the US through a partnership with Metropolitan Commercial Bank.

Revolut prides itself on being a financial “super app” that effectively consolidates a range of consumer services into one convenient application. Essentially, it allows users to seamlessly handle savings, expenditures, investments, and even benefit from travel-related protections, all within a single platform. This integrated approach enables individuals to efficiently manage their finances, both locally and while abroad, through a sophisticated and user-friendly application.

The United States represents a key market for Revolut, with a large number of tech-savvy investors seeking accessible investment solutions. The company launched the robo-advisor service in the U.S. two months ago, aiming to tap into this market potential and attract a growing number of investors who are looking for digital and automated investment tools.

Revolut expects that the robos will attract the mass affluent segment, broadly defined as those with less than $1 million in investable assets, who may be attracted by its high-level technology services.

Revolut’s pursuit of a UK banking license is also facing a setback as the Bank of England has reportedly informed the Treasury of its intention to reject the highly valued fintech company’s long-standing application. This decision comes after a two-year campaign by Revolut to obtain the license.

Back in September, Revolut’s co-founder and CEO, Nik Storonsky, expressed confidence that the license was nearly secured. Similarly, in March, he reiterated that the license was expected to be granted “any day now.”

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