In the latest development, the German fintech startup N26 said that it would close all of its British customers’ accounts and leave the UK market as a result of Brexit. Customers who have a bank account will have to transfer their deposit or withdraw money at an ATM, as all accounts will be automatically closed on April 15, 2020. Until then, accounts will work as normal, including all card payments and direct debits.
The timings and framework outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement mean that the company will, in due course, be unable to operate in the UK with its European banking license.
Thomas Grosse, Chief Banking Officer at N26, said:
While we fully respect the political decision that has been taken, it means that N26 will, in due course, be unable to serve our customers in the UK and will have to leave the market.
If in case you have a premium subscription, the fintech startup will stop charging you for your N26 You or N26 Metal subscription from March 14.
Although we will be leaving the UK, we will continue our mission to radically transform the global banking industry through innovation and the power of technology and design to build a bank the world loves to use. This means growing within the European Union, where we recently crossed the 5 million customer mark, building our presence in the US, one of the most attractive global banking markets, and expanding into new countries.
Following the closure of the company’s UK operations, the majority of N26’s UK staff will move into new roles within the business as N26 continues to grow its global team.
Will Sorby, General Manager, N26 UK added:
We would like to thank all N26 customers for their support. We’ve planned the next steps carefully to ensure this process is as smooth as possible for every customer in the UK.
Bunq an independent bank that offers mobile banking with no branch visits, no queues, no paperwork, said:
You might have heard one of our Fintech peers is leaving the UK. Fear not: bunq is here to stay. Based on the current rules and regulations, we see no (regulatory) reason to leave the UK. In fact, we love you guys!
Charlie, Barton, Banking and Investments Specialist at personal finance comparison site, finder.com, said:
Despite N26 being a relatively small player in the UK compared to the other countries it operates in, closing all operations here is a move that has surprised the financial industry and customers alike. While we wouldn’t expect Revolut, whose banking license is in Lithuania, to follow suit, this will add fuel to the fire for critics of digital-only banks who are sceptical of their long term stability. However it also offers a clear opportunity for UK-based digital-only banks who will fancy their chances of sweeping up these 200,000 or so customers.
Main image credits: N26
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