📰 The FCA just approved Monzo's first move outside the UK - City AM



Interesting stuff.

What does passporting permission mean in real terms? Is this offering GBP account to people who live in ROI or actually launching EUR accounts? If the latter that’s awesome!

I assume from the fact both Monzo & Starling are targeting Ireland first, that Ireland is one of the easier countries to get a license in? Or is it just a geographical thing?

IIRC it means that Monzo can offer banking services throughout the EU because it has a UK banking licence. That could all change in a year or so, though.:confounded:


wouldn’t it be a full Irish Banking licence - just as Starling have a full Irish Banking licence as well as a recognised full UK banking Licence - and therefore recognised in the EU as Ireland is an EU member, rather than a UK licence which might or might not be recognised in the future for equivalence in Ireland and the EU :slight_smile:

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The City AM article quotes “head of international Thomas George.” Last year, Thomas George called himself Head of Risk. It would be interesting to know more about his new(?) role. Any chance of a forum or blog post from Thomas about what he does? :grin:


Just been reading about Monzo and Starling on the above posted article link
Very interesting how both Fintech banks are pushing into the European market with Starling stating that by being first it should achieve a lot of the interest
Also read about Starling stating that they will be breaking even and possibly in profit by 2019 ?

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Of course he could be Head of International, Head of Risk, and Head of Catering, and orders in the beer and noodles for Open Evenings :wink:


Very true! I’m interested to hear more about the Head of International role, though. :wink:

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Quite simple going international could be deemned as a high risk.

There’s more details on why they chose to get set up in Ireland in the TechCrunch coverage for this story -

Explains George: “Ireland is a great first step for Monzo: there’s no language barrier, there are strong cultural similarities, and the way people use banking products is similar. But as Tom [has previously] said, expansion into the rest of Europe would require us to build multi-language support, and make other changes to the product to meet local customer needs”.


That TechCrunch article is a lot better than the City AM one! I can see how Monzo can get by without an office in the ROI, but would they need a distribution partner there so that cards can be shipped next day as they are here?

“But as Tom [has previously] said, expansion into the rest of Europe would require us to build multi-language support, and make other changes to the product to meet local customer needs”

It sounds like there are no plans to support Irish Gaelic – I don’t know how much difference this will make to public perception in the Republic. Is this a big deal or fairly common for commercial organisations operating there?

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Ok forgive my potentially massive lack of knowledge, but aren’t there language packs/add-ons/settings that would allow Monzo app to display everything in other languages? I get the need to (hopefully) source local talent in countries to provide awesome Monzo customer support ubut technically how hard is it?

I imagine this is the big issue. If they provide the app in a different language, a native speaker of that language would reasonably expect to be able to communicate with Monzo in that language. That includes any email notifications, legal documents, etc.


I’ve just looked at the Barclays Irish site, and there doesn’t appear to be any obvious way to see it in any language other than English, so Monzo wouldn’t be the first UK bank to not support Irish Gaelic.


Good point, I didn’t think to check bank websites! Allied Irish and Bank of Ireland also lack any obvious way to switch to Irish Gaelic, so this doesn’t seem to be an issue. :+1:

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The TechCrunch article explains this really well.

From what I’ve learned in my short time here is that Ireland is the easiest place in Europe to passport because there is no language barrier, and as Tom states banking is used in a similar way.

We’d want to understand the way banking is used before launching our product elsewhere.

Passporting, in short from what I understand is applying within the EU using your banking license without having to start from scratch.

We’re in super early stages of a US move, which is exciting. :tada:

@jzw95, I’ve bought your point up about Thomas’ role, he is indeed Head of International, slack says he is Department of Magical Law Enforcement though - he could be anything.


Thanks for the explanation :slight_smile:

Thanks for linking that! :slight_smile: