"It's not easy getting a banking licence," says UK Baas startup Griffin, which bags $24m

Griffin, founded in 2017, has bagged $24m in fresh funding, which will be used to satisfy regulatory capital requirements as well as build up its services for its clients.

“It’s not easy” getting a UK banking licence, says UK banking-as-a-service (BaaS) fintech Griffin, which has become a fully operational UK bank while bagging $24m in fresh funding.

Griffin, founded in 2017, is a BaaS startup. BaaS is a model whereby BaaS providers integrate their banking services into the products and services of non-bank firms.

Griffin has received funding from new backers MassMutual Ventures, NordicNinja and Breega and existing backers Notion Capital and EQT Ventures. In total, Griffin has received around £50m ($39m) in funding.

Commenting on its latest funding round, Sameer Dubey, Griffin CPO, said "the current funding environment is not easy".

The funds will be used to satisfy regulatory capital requirements as well as build up its services for its clients.

NordicNinja and Breega are EU Article 8 funds, which means that they are “light green” funds, which show that they promote ES characteristics.

Dubey said Griffin was “putting its money where it mouth was” on the sustainability front. As an example, he said Griffin has a dedicated sustainability manager. Dubey adds: “A lot of people pay lip service to sustainability but we actually have dedicated our scarce resources to it."

In another bit of news, Griffin has received approval from the UK’s financial services regulators, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to lift restrictions, allowing Griffin to exit mobilisation and launch as a fully operational bank.

In March last year, Griffin was authorised by the PRA and the FCA to operate with restrictions.

Asked if it was a formality to get the restrictions lifted, Dubey said "nothing can be taken as given” given Griffin had to meet certain regulatory requirements to get the restrictions lifted. “You have to give the regulators the confidence that you can run as a full bank”, he added. On getting a UK banking licence, he said it's "not easy".

He added: “It requires a lot of patience and a significant amount of capital."

Griffin’s BaaS platform can provide clients with access to all the UK's payment rails, bank accounts, debit cards, an integrated ledger, and customer onboarding automation.

It can offer its services en masse or clients can cheery pick services, such as financial crime tools.

Its clients include, in the proptech space, LettsPay, the tech payment firm, where Griffin provides safeguarding money solutions for landlords and lettings agents.

Lead image: Griffin. Photo: uncredited. 

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