One of Revolut’s UK regulatory chiefs has stepped down from her role amid growing tensions between the fintech firm and the Financial Conduct Authority over its sluggish progress on towards a banking licence.
Deirdre Halligan, head of global affairs, wealth and trading, oversaw the firm’s expansion, authorisations and regulatory affairs, including its relationship with UK regulators.
Her departure, reported in the Telegraph, comes as tensions between Revolut and the regulator grow over the speed of movement on its licence applications, including a full banking licence and fully registered status to provide crypto services.
Boss Nikolay Storonsky went public with his criticism of the regulator in an interview with City A.M. last month, saying that the firm’s progress towards a banking licence had been “slower than expectations” and had lagged behind international competitors.
“I definitely see the process is slower compared to other regulators,” he said. “I’ll give you an example – so we applied for 48 licences across the globe and we received 44, and three of the licences that we haven’t received are actually in the UK.”
Storonsky added that staffing pressures at the FCA may explain the hold up, and recommended that certain key performance indicators be put in place at the regulator, as well as “stricter timelines”, more people or “more efficient people”.
In a statement to City A.M., an FCA spokesperson said that while it did not comment on individual cases, it reviews “banking applications to ensure they meet the standards we expect”. The spokesperson added the regular had “successfully recruited across the organisation” to meet its “expanding remit”, including bringing in over 200 new colleagues in the first three months of this year.
Halligan’s departure from Revolut marks the latest in a series of resignations at the firm, with Harry Gill, Revolut’s global head of regulatory compliance, resigning in May, the Telegraph first reported, and the chief of operational risk and head of UK compliance also leaving in recent months.
Culture and controls in the firm’s regulatory and compliance teams have reportedly raised concerns at the regulator, as well as whether it has an appropriate amount of employees to manage transactions, the Telegraph reported.
Alongside waiting for its full banking licence, Revolut is being held on a temporary register for crypto services despite 35 firms already receiving approval by the regulator.
A Revolut spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Deirdre will leave Revolut to pursue opportunities outside the business. Deirdre is leaving for a chief operating officer role at a global organisation. We thank her for her amazing contribution to the team and wish her all the best for the future.”