Revolut has received a European banking licence from the European Central Bank. However, it will be several months before the British FinTech start-up can call itself a bank.
The Revolut app can also be used to manage Bitcoin code
The crypto-affine FinTech start-up Revolut has received a specialised European banking licence on the recommendation of the Lithuanian central bank. In addition, the Board of Directors of the Central Bank has granted Revolut a licence for Bitcoin code e-money institutions. The former was granted to Revolut Technologies UAB, the latter to Revolut Payments UAB. The Lithuanian central bank announced this on its website on 13 December.
A member of the Management Board of the Lithuanian Central Bank justified the decision with Lithuania’s benevolent attitude towards the development of new business areas in the FinTech sector:
“The development of a competitive and innovation-friendly environment in the financial sector is one of our strategic goals. We want to ensure that the Lithuanian financial sector provides high quality services to consumers and creates a favourable ecosystem for business development”.
Accordingly, the announcement of the Bitcoin code on Revolut’s blog reads euphorically:
“We are delighted to announce today that our application for a European banking licence has been approved by the European Central Bank. As you can imagine, this Bitcoin code is quite a big milestone for us. This license will help us achieve our goal of creating an account in which you can manage every aspect of your everyday financial life”.
No full banking license (yet)
Until then, however, various tests still have to be carried out and agreements made with the European financial regulators.
“In the coming months we will be building and testing a lot behind the scenes and working closely with regulators to remove all restrictions on our license so that we can introduce full current accounts, overdraft facilities and everything else you would expect from a bank.
As the license is not a full banking license, Revolut is not allowed to offer investment services for the time being. Revolut does not say in the press release how or whether the receipt of the license(s) will affect the crypto functionality of the smartphone app.
The competition is one step ahead in this respect: on December 12, the Berlin start-up Bitwala announced the launch of its blockchain account. Bitwala’s FinTech partner solarisBank already holds a full banking license.