BBVA owned Finnish Fintech Holvi to Exit UK Market Only 6 Months After Launch due to Brexit, COVID-19 Challenges

BBVA-backed Fintech firm Holvi, which provides bank accounts to sole traders and SMBs, is reportedly preparing to exit the UK market only six months after establishing operations inthe country.

Holvi’s management noted that Brexit and the COVID-19 outbreak has made it challenging to maintain its business in the UK. The Finnish company will end support for its accounts for UK residents on October 31, 2020.

The Fintech firm stated:

“The UK is a challenging market – and at the beginning of the year we were ready to meet this challenge head on. But the world has changed a lot in 2020, and with change come shifting priorities. Coronavirus has disrupted market conditions and added a new layer of complexity. When you factor in the UK’s uncertain regulatory landscape, the waters become even less clear.”

The prospect of having to deal with a no-deal Brexit, along with the pressure of obtaining a UK banking license, forced Holvi to change its business strategy, the company noted.

Holvi added:

“As we focus on honing [the company’s] features and better serving our customers, we’re concentrating on expanding our leading position in Germany, Finland and European markets outside the UK.”

As reported in January 2020, Holvi had announced that it would be expanding its services to its third core market, which is the UK.

The Fintech company’s other core markets are Germany and Finland. It’s also offering services in Ireland, Belgium, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.

Holvi provides entrepreneurs and SMEs with a “regulated one-stop-shop” to collect income, manage expenses, and offer a real-time view of finances, which includes online sales platform, invoicing facility and cashflow tracker.

The company is a licensed payment institution and is authorized to operate across the European Economic Area (EEA) under the Payment Services Directive by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority (FSA). The company was acquired by BBVA in 2016.

Digital bank N26 recently exited the UK market. It also said that it decided to leave because of Brexit-related licensing and regulatory issues and unprecedented market conditions.

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