Bunq’s Re-entry into the UK Market and Fintech Expansion

Dutch neobank unicorn company Bunq is set to re-enter the UK market after achieving a full year of profitability. The Amsterdam-based fintech has applied for an e-money institution (EMI) license, allowing it to offer financial services in the UK.

Bunq, driven by a desire to tap into the “hugely important” UK market, previously operated in the country under its European Union license but withdrew post-Brexit. With plans to extend its services beyond the EU and bolstered by a pre-tax profit of €53.1m (£45.3m) in 2023, Bunq aims to reintroduce payments accounts to UK customers.

Ali Niknam, founder and CEO of Bunq, highlighted the UK’s significance in the European fintech landscape and the company’s tech-focused approach, making it logical to pursue this market. The move is particularly aimed at catering to the sizeable community of digital nomads in the UK, offering them a seamless banking experience across Europe.

The competition in the UK challenger bank market is intense, with Bunq set to compete against established players such as Monzo, Revolut, and Starling. Bunq, one of Europe’s largest neobanks boasting around 11 million users, achieved unicorn status in 2021 with a valuation exceeding $1 billion.

While obtaining an EMI license enables Bunq to issue payment cards and provide digital payment services in the UK, it does not grant the company full banking status. Separate regulatory approval would be required for Bunq to operate as a fully licensed bank in the UK. The fintech’s strategic re-entry into the UK market reflects its commitment to expanding its footprint and offering innovative financial solutions to a global audience.

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