Saturday 22 September 2018

Collison-backed digital bank cleared to operate in Ireland

Thomas George, head of international at Monzo
Thomas George, head of international at Monzo
Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

A digital challenger bank backed by the billionaire Collison brothers has been given the go-ahead to offer services in Ireland.

The Irish brothers behind payments firm Stripe, Patrick and John Collison, contributed to a recent funding round for app-only UK bank Monzo.

Monzo has now won approval from the Bank of England's Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to offer its product here through a so called European Union regulatory passport.

Passporting is a European-wide arrangement that means a financial operator regulated in one member state can offer its services across the EU.

As long as the United Kingdom remains a member of the EU, Monzo is eligible to apply for additional access to member state markets - and Ireland was chosen first.

Thomas George, head of international at Monzo, told the Irish Independent that the group is "thrilled" to enter the market here.

"Beyond unlocking a whole new set of customers who can soon get their hands on a Monzo account, this moment is particularly exciting because Ireland will be Monzo's first step outside the UK, as we begin our journey to bring Monzo to the world."

The bank will spend the next few months setting up access to the necessary European payment schemes, before being able to offer its product to consumers in the Republic of Ireland.

Over 550,000 people in the UK have signed up to Monzo since the bank was founded in 2015.

Last year, the firm gained a full banking licence and rolled out a current account for customers. In November 2017, Monzo announced that it had raised £71m (€80m) from Goodwater Capital, Stripe and Michael Moritz in a funding round.

This latest development comes less than a year after Starling Bank won similar approval to operate here. The UK-based financial startup, which also offers consumers accounts via smartphones, is run by former AIB executive Anne Boden.

Irish Independent

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