Digital bank Revolut has reportedly made a deal with primary backer SoftBank on a change to the latter’s shareholding, a strategic move that will clear away a significant barrier in the fintech firm’s pursuit of a UK banking license.
The Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) has reportedly told Revolut that it needs to break down its six different classes of shares into one and try to simplify its ownership structure further so that it can acquire the banking license.
Although other investors agreed to transfer shares to a single class, Revolut’s main supporter, SoftBank, has been hesitant about such a move while requesting twice the amount of stock Revolut is providing in return for giving up its preferential rights.
The FT revealed that the two firms have settled the issue following several months of discussions regarding the matter. The said agreement reportedly doesn’t include new issuance of shares to Softbank and it will also not have a material financial impact on the firm, the FT report noted.
Revolut has now been waiting 2-and-a-half years to obtain a UK banking license, with the time-consuming process said to be due to certain concerns at the FCA regarding auditing, compliance and corporate culture matters.
Recently, it was revealed that the Financial Conduct Authority had been investigating whether Revolut had permitted funds to be transferred from certain accounts that were flagged as suspicious by the National Crime Agency.
During the past month, it was reported that the Fintech firm would be delaying the filing of its annual accounts for the second straight year.
The 2021 accounts had finally been submitted this past March, however, the auditor BDO had proceeded to flag certain issues, including that it would not be able to verify or confirm the £477m of revenue, nor affirm their “completeness or occurrence” because of the existing setup of Revolut’s internal IT systems.