Challenger bank N26 to close United Kingdom accounts in April

Hands holding an N26 debit card and a phone with the N26 app open with a concrete floor in the background

Customers with accounts in other markets will not be affected.

A spokesperson said the bank had "several hundred thousand" United Kingdom customers.

"With the United Kingdom having left the European Union (EU) at the end of January, we will in due course no longer be able to operate in the United Kingdom with our European banking licence", the company's statement reads.

Accounts will operate as normal until 15 April, by which time funds should be transferred.

Just a few months after it announced plans to expand its Irish presence, N26 has said it will pull out of the United Kingdom market entirely.

The bank, which had a significant marketing push after launch, only started offering current accounts in the United Kingdom after the European Union referendum.

"Although we will be leaving the United Kingdom, we will continue our mission to radically transform the global banking industry through innovation and the power of technology".

However, the fact that N26 has not gone through the motions of applying for a United Kingdom banking licence and raising the relevant regulatory capital suggests that the firm was struggling to keep its head above water in the face of strong competition from other United Kingdom neobanks, such as Starling and Monzo.

N26 mounted an eye-catching marketing campaign on the London Underground a year ago as it pushed to acquire customers.

N26 also faces a lot of competition from the United Kingdom out of Monzo, Starling and in certain ways Revolut.

"Why bother to get and try to maintain a license in a country where you've struggled to gain traction and you're up against serious competition?"

When N26 launched in the United Kingdom it drove a big marketing push - the price tag for which has not been revealed.

"We want to take this opportunity to thank all our United Kingdom customers for believing in our vision to build the bank the world loves to use". N26 consumers in different markets will not be impacted by this shift.

The billionaire investor Peter Thiel is among N26's largest backers. "We've planned the next steps carefully to ensure this process is as smooth as possible for every customer in the United Kingdom".

Thomas Grosse, Chief Banking Officer at N26 said: "While we fully respect the decision that has been taken, it means that N26 will in due course be unable to serve our customers in the United Kingdom and will have to leave the market".



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