bunq files for US License

European neobank bunq has applied for a banking license in the United States, aiming to bring its “proven and user-centered approach to banking to location-independent people and businesses in the US.” The second largest neobank in the European Union, bunq is dedicated to making banking easier for its users, enabling them to open a fully-fledged international bank account in just five minutes. The bank’s subscription model, which it describes as “transparent” and “value-based,” has no hidden fees or minimum balances.

Bunq is targeting almost five million digital nomads, including expats, international entrepreneurs, and professionals working remotely, who are EU or US citizens with deep ties on both sides of the Atlantic. The bank’s app is tailored to those who live an international lifestyle, allowing them to manage their finances from anywhere in the world, while also saving money on foreign exchange fees, using multiple currencies, and automated budgeting.

Bunq has enjoyed significant growth thanks to its user-centered and service-oriented business model. It expanded to 30+ European countries and became the second largest neobank in the EU after the acquisition of Belgian fintech TriCount in May 2022. Bunq was also the first EU neobank to record an operating profit in 2021 and became structurally profitable in December 2022, reporting its first quarterly profit of €2.3 million.

As more and more Europeans move to the US and encounter complexity and lack of transparency when accessing financial services, bunq is seeking to provide a product tailored to their wants and needs. Founded in 2012, bunq was reportedly the first bank to obtain a European banking license in 35 years. The bank was bootstrapped by its founder, Ali Niknam, who deployed over $125 million of his own money into the venture. In 2021, bunq raised $228 million, at a $1.9 billion valuation, in the largest series A round ever raised by a European fintech.

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