LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) – Digital bank Revolut has
reported suspected money laundering activities on its network to
British law enforcement and regulatory agencies, a spokesman
said on Tuesday, adding that the sums of money involved were not
significant.
The spokesman confirmed an article in the Financial Times
newspaper which said the bank had flagged a spate of suspected
money laundering a couple of months ago to both the Financial
Conduct Authority (FCA) and the National Crime Agency (NCA).
He said the report filed with authorities was routine and
that Revolut would normally flag this kind of activity to both
the NCA and the FCA. He did not disclose the amount of money
involved.

Revolut has signed up 2.25 million users since its launch in
July 2015, making it the largest and fastest growing of a set of
new app-only banks that have sprung up in Britain.

Like other financial technology firms, these upstart banks
have faced questions over whether their compliance capabilities
and resources can keep pace with rapid user growth, or if they
can provide the same safeguards as mainstream banks.

Revolut does not currently have a banking licence, which
would allow it to offer more services such as loans.

It is now in the process of applying for a European banking
licence in Lithuania rather than in Britain. Lithuania has been
trying to attract fintech firms since 2016, hoping UK-based
finance companies might apply for licences in the country to
maintain access to the European Union after Brexit.

Revolut customers can currently open an account, have a
debit card and other money management tools via its smartphone
app.

It also offers foreign exchange services, as well as
allowing customers to spend abroad without charges and hold, buy
and sell cryptocurrencies like bitcoin via the app.
Revolut’s spokesman said the firm’s controls would make
large-scale money laundering difficult.

Users’ spending habits determine the amount of money they
are able to move over the system up to an annual limit of 25,000
pounds ($33,155), after which additional controls are activated,
he said.

He also said new users that have no spending history have a
spending limit of 200 pounds.

($1 = 0.7540 pounds)
(Reporting by Emma Rumney. Editing by Jane Merriman)