UK challenger bank Monzo has received regulatory approval to operate in the Republic of Ireland.
Monzo, which has received more than £100m in funding since starting in 2015, said the move was the first step in its plans for international expansion. Despite no immediate plans to open an office in Dublin, the company has received passporting permission from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to operate in the country. Passporting is a European-wide arrangement that sees similar regulation mirrored across the member states, with the view of creating something like a single market for financial services.
Thomas George, head of international, said: “We’re thrilled to have received official passporting permission to offer Monzo in the Republic of Ireland. Beyond unlocking a whole new set of customers who can soon get their hands on a Monzo account, this moment is particularly exciting because Ireland will be Monzo’s first step outside the UK, as we begin our journey to bring Monzo to the world.”
Following the annocument, it will now spend the next few months setting up access to the necessary European payment schemes, before being able to offer its product
to consumers in the Republic of Ireland.
Having achieved a U.K. banking license last April, Monzo said it is eligible to apply for additional passporting rights for other EEA member states.
The bank will look to move into other European countries in 2018, and is considering expansion into other international markets, with the view of making it into the United States in the longer term.
Founded in February 2015, Monzo closed a £71m funding round last November, which was led by Silicon Valley-based Goodwater Capital. The round valued the company at £280m and included participation from Stripe, the online payments company established by brothers Patrick and John Collison.
In obtaining passporting rights, Monzo is following in the footsteps of Starling Bank, the digital-only entity founded by former AIB executive Anne Boden. Last year, Starling received approval from the Bank of England to operate in the Republic under the European Union’s passporting arrangements.
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