UK Fintech Lanistar, a Much-Hyped and Controversial New Venture, Acquires FCA Approval

UK-based Fintech firm Lanistar, the much-hyped and controversial business venture that has previously claimed it’s owned by some of the “world’s most influential people,” has revealed that it’s managed to acquire the FCA’s approval to serve as an Electronic Money Directive (EMD) agent of payments company Modulr.

As an EMD agent, Lanistar will be able to distribute and redeem digital money on behalf of Modulr. This means that the company can provide its clients’ all-digital accounts to send and receive funds.

Lanistar had been holding discussions with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regarding securing a full -banking license for its product, which is a debit card that can link up with eight bank cards. This is supposed to help clients with effectively managing their money through “polymorphic” technology and Open Banking tech.

In November 2020, the FCA had issued a warning to potential Lanistar investors. The financial regulator had cautioned that the company was offering financial services or products without obtaining proper authorization.

The FCA had clarified:

“This firm [Lanistar] is not authorized by us and is targeting people in the UK. Based upon information we hold, we believe it is carrying on regulated activities which require authorization.”

The FCA later removed the warning (just a few days later) after Lanistar proceeded to add appropriate disclaimers to its marketing campaign and related materials.

Having initially committed to launching its product this past winter, Lanistar now claims it will be introduced at some point in 2021.

Lanistar is reportedly working with former BP, KPMG and Open Banking professional Bill Suglani as its Chief Financial Officer. The company has also appointed GE Capital and Aldermore Bank executive Jeremy Baber who is Lanistar’s Director of Banking and Financial Services.

Despite the setbacks and issues it had been facing, Lanistar is still committed to its vision to become a “£10 billion Fintech”, touting its social media engagement. The Fintech firm also intends to expand its business to the European Union and Brazil.

Gurhan Kiziloz, CEO at Lanistar, stated:

“We are extremely grateful and excited by the official confirmation that we are approved as an EMD agent and one step closer towards achieving greatness.”

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