British fintech startup Revolut to seek U.S. banking license: CEO

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - British financial technology startup Revolut plans to apply for a banking license in the United States, Chief Executive Officer Nikolay Storonsky said on Monday.

Rates of currencies, including British Pound, are displayed after Brexit referendum on an electronic board at a currency exchange in Warsaw, Poland June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The company, launched in 2015, could apply by the end of the year in California, Storonsky told Reuters in an interview at the sidelines of a fintech conference in Amsterdam.

Revolut, which has already applied for a banking license in Europe, offers nearly 2 million users a pre-paid card and an mobile app which make it cheaper to spend money in different currencies.

It plans to launch services in the United States this summer with a banking partner, Storonsky said.

The company is one of the UK’s most valuable fintech startups having raised $250 million at a $1.7 billion valuation in April.

Other financial technology companies seeking banking licenses in the United States include Square Inc SQ.N, the payments company launched by Twitter Inc TWTR.N CEO Jack Dorsey and digital bank Varo Money. Student lender SoFi withdrew its application in November.

Revolut has been using its latest round of funding to expand aggressively, both geographically and through the launch of new services. Its suite of financial products includes personal loans, cryptocurrencies and small business banking.

It is also in the process of launching a robo-advice product, as well as commission-free stock trading, Storonsky said.

Revolut is among a number of app-only banks that have sprung up in Europe in recent years with the aim of taking advantage of new digital technologies to offer user friendly and cheaper services to consumers and small businesses.

Several of these are expanding to the United States or are in early talks to do so, including Germany’s N26 and the UK’s Monzo.

Revolut currently has five employees in New York and also plans to office an office in San Francisco, Storonsky said.

Globally it employees 400 people, with plans to double its headcount by the end of the year.

It is backed by venture capital firms including DST Global, Index Ventures and Ribbit Capital.

Reporting by Anna Irrera; Editing by David Gregorio