Revolut has attacked UK regulators for being “extremely bureaucratic” twice over the past few days as reports suggest government figures are attempting to soothe the fintech’s concerns.
According to the Daily Telegraph, business secretary Kemi Badenoch is seeking an emergency meeting with Revolut to convince it to stay in the UK. The newspaper reported that Spain and France are attempting to court it.
The meeting comes after chief executive Nik Storonsky attacked regulators in the UK on two separate occasions over the past few days.
Speaking to the Financial Times on Sunday, Storonsky said the banking crisis was making regulators in the UK “extra cautious” when it came to Revolut’s long awaited banking licence.
Revolut applied for its full banking licence in January 2021, a process which normally takes less than a year. Back in March chief financial officer Mikko Salovaara said the UK licence was coming “any day now.”
Smaller rivals, such as Monzo and Starling, have already secured banking licences.
The hunt for full authorisation has proved a speed bump to its growth in the past two years, but Storonsky argued the delay was “not really us.”
The comments followed a blistering broadside unleashed on Friday in the Times in which he argued the UK had “higher taxes” and an “extremely bureaucratic regulator”, suggesting he would rather list on the Nasdaq index than in London – although the company would likely stay in private hands.
“Regulators are doing a lot to slow us down. We are not allowed to grow and compete internationally,” Storonksy said.
The comments will come as a blow to attempts from both regulators and the government to attract firms to the City of London. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt previously singled out Revolut as a “shining example” as he expressed his ambition to turn the UK into the next Silicon Valley.
Last week the Financial Conduct Authority unveiled a series of measures to attract capital to the City, including scrapping ‘standard’ and ‘premium’ listing and moving towards a disclosure based system.
Regulators have faced widespread criticism after a number of firms, such as tech firm Arm and construction company CRH, have abandoned the UK in recent months.
In a statement Revolut said: “We’re a British company and London is our home.”