Revolut has been hit by a slew of resignations from its UK risk and compliance chiefs in recent weeks amid heightened tensions with regulators and delays to the firm’s banking licence, City A.M. has learned.
Five Revolut executives have handed in their resignation including UK chief risk officer, Victoria Stubbs; UK Head of Regulatory Compliance, Justine Wootton and UK Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) Mathew Seneviratne, a source close to Revolut told City A.M.
The UK Data Protection officer and UK Deputy MLRO have also resigned, City A.M. understands, leaving the UK business – which is currently regulated as an electronic money institution – without a regulated money laundering reporting officer.
The resignations strike a major blow to the London-headquartered fintech as it hunts for a UK banking licence and full authorisation to provide crypto services in the UK, raising further questions over regulatory processes at the firm after a series of executives stepped down in recent months.
Global chief compliance officer Harry Gill quit earlier this year while Deirdre Halligan, Revolut’s Head of Global Affairs and Wealth & Trading also resigned.
Tensions between Revolut boss Nik Storonsky and the Financial Conduct Authority have spilled over into public in recent weeks after Nik Storonksy criticised processes and the pace of movement at the regulator on its banking licence.
In an interview with City A.M. Storonsky said the delays to banking licence progress may be caused by staff shortages and recommended that certain KPIs be put in place at the regulator, as well as “stricter timelines”, more people or “more efficient people”.
An FCA spokesperson told City A.M. said it had “successfully recruited across the organisation” to meet its “expanding remit”, however.
At an event last month, the Revolut chief also launched further criticism of the “principle based” approach of UK regulators, saying they slowed down processes compared to international counterparts who adopted more “rules-based” systems.
Storonsky has also been ramping up pressure on politicians this year to approve the firm’s banking licence. At an event in February, he reportedly collared then-chancellor Rishi Sunak to quiz him on the delays.
It comes as Revolut looks to gain fully registered status for crypto services from the FCA, as it remains the only firm held on a temporary register while over 35 have already been granted full approval by the watchdog.
Churn in the regulatory team and the absence of money laundering reporting officers is likely lead to further anxieties at the regulator over Revolut’s suitability to provide crypto services in the UK.
The extended timelines have proved a major hiccup in Revolut’s rapid global expansion, which has seen it snap up 20m customers globally since 2015 and fetch a valuation of $33bn in its latest funding round – more than NatWest.
A Revolut spokesperson said: “Over the last few months these individuals have decided to move on from Revolut.
“It’s not uncommon in highly entrepreneurial companies that people join for phases of growth and some decide to move on when the time is right for them.
“We thank them for their hard work and dedication during their time at Revolut. We’re continuing with our mission to build a global financial super app.”