Monzo withdraws US banking licence application

SoFi got SPACed and had a load of money to play with to be fair

I’ve been summoned

My preferred expansion route was always Ireland … could practically reuse much of Monzo UK infrastructure…

You’re not going to believe this, but Monzo actually runs out of Ireland :ireland: in Eu-West-1. I can tell you this, because that’s apparently public info now:

Eu-West-1 is Ireland:

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Does somebody there have actual physical keys to get in, so that they don’t need to resort to an angle grinder if they accidentally delete themselves off the internet?

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At least 10 hundred thousand!

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Does somebody there have actual physical keys to get in, so that they don’t need to resort to an angle grinder if they accidentally delete themselves off the internet?

Since we’re so sure of our security, here’s an actual video of one of our Monzonauts walking to the datacentre :smiley:

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Like anyone at Monzo wears a suit

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Yes, ireland is a market ripe for the taking to be honest. All my friends use revolut mainly due to a lack of another viable legit option which is both modern in features and doesnt charge ludicrous fees.

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Hi everyone, Thomas from the Monzo US team here. Thanks for all your messages about the recent news.

Firstly, I wanted to confirm that we are definitely not going anywhere. We’re very invested in making Monzo a success in the US and this news doesn’t change this.

The banking licence application has been a long project that we’ve been running alongside our day to day work of building the product, hiring the team and running our US business. We always knew that this was going to be tough when we kicked off the project, but we thought that it was worth trying. However we also knew that we couldn’t rely upon getting the bank charter, that’s why we launched our product that we offer today in partnership with Sutton Bank. And finally Covid-19 has of course had a huge impact on our plans both here, and in the UK, and so we’ve needed to be flexible as conditions change.

We’re currently expanding the team (and recently welcomed 5 new people with more hires joining in the next few weeks). And that’s meant we’ve been able to accelerate the rate of new feature development, with recent improvements to the product including ACH, Linked Accounts and Salary Sorter. Watch this space for more to come very soon! Please continue to ask questions and give us your feedback!

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Actually, now I’m curious- why stick with Sutton Bank? Why not shift to another partner bank that plays nice with PayPal/Venmo/etc? (And if you were to do that, how much effort would that take behind the scenes? I’m curious, since I’ve seen SoFi shift partner banks with what didn’t feel like very much effort).

Thanks Jason, good question! It actually would be a decent amount of work to shift partner banks, so no plans to change anything any time soon, but you are correct in that it certainly is something that others have done and we could do in theory. I do know about the issues that you’re referring to, hopefully it’s something we can improve in the short term without moving banks. Let me check in with everyone here to see if we have had any clever ideas recently…

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The trouble with Ireland is that the regulatory environment is not actually that favourable for operating a bank.

Rules around capital ratios, in particular, heavily restrict lending and make it difficult to operate profitably. However, that said, if any bank could work within a narrow margin and still make it profitable (and also a strategically useful jumping-off point for the other EU countries) it would presumably be a digital bank like Monzo as running costs would be lower. Also, with a limited set of local competitors, Monzo could probably see rapid growth as they would easily have the best technology (along with Revolut). Plus, with the aforementioned market exits, people may be more willing to try a new bank than previously?

I’m not an expert in the finite details of running a bank, so please don’t take this as gospel, but it has been cited by both Ulster Bank and KBC in their recent decisions to withdraw from the ROI market.

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I only just read about this. But damn this is quite a big blow.

I’m increasingly worried Monzo’s ambition is faltering and they risk the fate of becoming a small U.K. bank. The US is the only other market they’ve tried in, and it feels like it’s been five years of missteps. I don’t see any of the energy or momentum that kicked Monzo off in the U.K.

I really hope they manage to scale up in the US and fast, before the market isn’t there for them anymore

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Honestly, it’s been 2 years of beta in the US and you would think the app and its features would be further along. I’ve been apart of many betas and Monzo is moving at snails pace with providing the US customers the features they want to keep banking with them. There are other banks like Douugh, etc that seem to have more features the ability to implement much faster.

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