Revolut has yet to file a final application for a US banking licence, over two years after saying it was submitting a draft application for a US banking licence.
The UK-headquartered neobank, which is one of the UK’s most valuable fintechs, said in 2021 that it had submitted a draft application for a US banking licence.
Revolut said it filed a draft application with the FDIC (Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), the government agency that oversees the US banking industry, and California’s Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), which regulates financial services in California, in January 2021.
Nik Storonsky, co-founder and CEO of Revolut, said at the time:
“A US banking licence would ultimately enable us to provide US customers with all the essential financial products and services they can expect from their primary bank including loans and deposits.
“We’re on a mission to build the world’s first global financial super-app, and pursuing a US banking licence is an integral part of the journey.”
The FDIC told Tech.eu that it has no application on file from Revolut while the DFPI said it “never received a de novo bank charter application from Revolut”.
A search through the files of another regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), through which Monzo bid for a US licence and then withdrew its bid, shows Revolut has not made an application for a banking licence through it.
It is understood that Revolut is still weighing up whether to make a final application for a US banking charter, having submitted draft parts of an application and received feedback from regulators.
US banking charters are notoriously difficult to obtain, particularly for fintechs.
In the US, Revolut currently provides banking services through a partnership with Metropolitan Commercial Bank.
Revolut, which was last valued externally at $33 billion but is now thought to be worth around $18 billion, has over half a million retail customers in the US and employs over 150 people in North America.
Revolut launched in the US in 2020 with core features including a debit card and money transfer.
It has subsequently added to these services and this year launched a robo-advisor to automate investment portfolios on behalf of customers.
This year Revolut also said it would stop allowing US customers to access cryptocurrencies, citing the regulatory environment and crypto market uncertainty there.
In 2020, Varo Bank became the first consumer fintech in the US to secure a national bank charter from the OCC.
But stock-trading app Robinhood, payments firm Square and UK neobank Monzo have all withdrawn applications for various types of banking charter in recent years.
Revolut is still awaiting the outcome of whether it has been successful in being granted a UK banking licence.
Update (16:46 CEST, September 15, 2023): The article has been updated to reflect the fact that although Revolut has declined to comment on this issue, they still have not decided whether to launch a final banking application.
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