Revolut gets European banking licence, tops 200,000 Irish customers

Big bank alternative to start offering full banking services early next year

Digital banking alternative Revolut, which now claims 200,000 Irish customers, has been granted a European banking licence and intends to start accepting deposits and offering retail and business lending shortly.

Revolut, whose backers include Dublin and London-listed venture capital firm Draper Esprit, said it will implement the new licence early next year, initially focusing on smaller European countries, before passporting it to bigger markets such as the UK, France and Germany.

The new banking licence will allow customers to start depositing their salaries with Revolut with all accounts under €100,000 protected under the European Deposit Insurance Scheme. Revolut said it also intends to begin offering overdrafts, personal and business loans at rates that are comparable if not better than traditional high street lenders.

The fintech, which was launched by Nikolay Storonsky and Vlad Yatsenko in July 2015, has recorded phenomenal growth since it was established. Revolut now has more than 3 million customers across Europe, up from 1 million a year ago.



In the Republic, which is the company’s fifth biggest market, it had just over 50,000 customers at the end of November 2017 and was looking to grow this to 150,000 by the end of 2018. It now has 200,000 Irish customers.

The company is currently opening between 8,000 and 10,000 current accounts daily and transacting over $4 billion per month in volumes. In terms of turnover, Revolut has increased revenues fivefold year-on-year and broke even on a monthly basis back in December 2017.

The company initially gained traction by allowing customers to transfer money abroad but it has since rolled out a number of complementary services.

Revolut has raised approximately $340 million in funding to date with backers including Index Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Balderton Capital and DST Global.

"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". Our vision is simple: one app with tens of millions of users, where you can manage every aspect of your financial life with the best value and technology", said Nik Storonsky, Revolut's chief executive.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist