Can I have a Monzo account if I live in Jersey?

(Lisa Paul) #1

I live in jersey, my husband and daughter both have monzo cards- when I’m applying - it won’t accept the jersey address?

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(Richard Cook) #2

Hi Lisa, I’ve just moved your post into its own topic.

Unfortunately we aren’t able to offer accounts to new customers living in Jersey and the Channel Islands because they aren’t classed as part of the UK, so our banking licence doesn’t cover them. We’re hoping to in future!

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IOM customers
(Peter Roberts) #3

Out of interest, how is it you can keep prepaid users who migrated to current accounts?

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#4

They probably can’t discuss this due to AML/KYC :wink:

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#5

Maybe they upgraded them to the new debit card & infrastructure but on paper still call it a prepaid card, thus not needing their banking license to be valid there?

#6

That’s not how it works …

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#7

I’d suspect that a bank could take a risk based approach to what customers it takes on. In this case, perhaps Monzo took a decision to migrate channel island prepaid customers at their own risk, then closed off new customers?

All speculation of course. And I doubt that Monzo will confirm either way.

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#8

I don’t think so: If your license doesn’t cover a given area (which is what @cookywook indicated) then you simply can’t provide banking services in that area. It’s not at the bank’s discretion. Or is it?

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#9

I don’t know. It’s just a hypothesis.

If we assume that a) no rational bank would want to break the law or put their licence at risk and b) that Monzo is a rational bank, then it follows that this is not breaking the law / putting their licence at risk. Basically, there must be a reason why Monzo allows this to happen and not just close the accounts / refuse the transfer from pre-pay.

Unless @Lisa1’s husband and daughter have registered with a UK address?

As I say, all speculation. We just don’t have enough information to know.

What would your hypothesis be?

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#10

I certainly agree with the assumption that Monzo aren’t breaking the terms of their license or the law.

What I would say is that according to my understanding a banking license means you can provide banking services in the area that you are licensed. I don’t think they generally say “your customers must live in / have their main residence in this area”.

So, basically I’m saying that I don’t think it’s necessarily incompatible with holding only a UK banking license to provide banking services to non-UK residents.

However, @cookywook was implying that they can’t provide services to CI residents because their license forbid it. Now, if the license forbids it, then it will forbid it. There won’t be an exception “unless you have made a risk assessment”, or “unless they are old prepaid customers”.

I suppose it’s possible that the license doesn’t forbid it, but that doing so is risky / requires extra safeguards / etc, because you’d still have to satisfy the regulator that you are somehow offering these services in the UK, despite the customer being outside the UK. Something that Monzo isn’t willing to do for non-legacy customers. But then it wouldn’t be the license prohibiting it, but rather Monzo’s decision.

All of this is also speculation…

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(James Amey) #11

Hey Lisa!

So the reason that you’re not able to open an account with us is because Jersey isn’t a part of the UK, which is unfortunately the only territory that our banking license covers and so our systems will only accept addresses within the UK when you sign up.

But we didn’t think it was fair to exclude those people that had signed up from Jersey while we were running the pre-paid card, so we asked those people to contact support if they had a Channel Island/Crown Dependancy address where we could discuss options to get them a card, unfortunately we can’t offer those options to people signing up from scratch though. :worried:

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#12

Thanks. This does seem to confirm my thoughts that offering banking services to non-UK residents is not actually prohibited by Monzo’s license, but that it’s a (totally legitimate) business decision by them.

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(Steve Pike) #14

Hi Jim - I’ve just been looking around for a more ethical bank for my parents who live in Jersey - it seems all the high street options there are basically awful (according to some sources, anyway - https://thegoodshoppingguide.com/ethical-banks-and-building-societies).

I was really hoping they could open a Monzo account as I know other people back home who got the conversion from the pre-pay card to a full account.

I’d really love for you to consider operating in Jersey for ethical reasons - the island needs a high street banking option that is not destroying the planet and society, and it’s sad that the only options available are the bad guys (unless you’re super wealthy I suppose and then you can just pump it all elsewhere presumably?!) …

Anyway, this is my plea to cover the Channel Islands if you can, and since it seems you can in certain circumstances, I’m encouraged that this is possible :upside_down_face:

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(James Amey) #15

Hey friend!

This actually came up again on our internal Slack today, by coincidence.

The TL;DR is that we can’t accept new users for Crown Dependancies right now, due to the area that our banking license covers (only the UK :frowning_face:).

But, never say never… At the end of the day we want everybody to be able to use Monzo if they want too and the fact that there is a lot of legal/cultural overlap within crown dependancies goes in favour of us expanding there at some point. :slightly_smiling_face:

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