Revolut will start offering personal loans in Ireland as its banking market penetration accelerates.
The online bank has opened a waiting list for loans, the first Revolut Bank product it offers in this country.
The company also revealed that it has grown its user base here to 1.7 million and employs over 100 people in Ireland.
Revolut says other loan products, such as credit cards, will follow later this year.
It will also be able to offer bank accounts backed by Lithuania’s €100,000 deposit guarantee to its Irish users later this year under the full banking license granted to it by the European Central Bank in December. .
In the same month, it was also granted an electronic money license by the Central Bank of Ireland.
But he decided not to use it and will instead operate the banking operations under the license of the ECB.
The developments come as nearly 1.5 million Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland customers face the prospect of having to relocate their banks in the coming months as the two lenders prepare to exit the Irish market .
“Following the successful rollout of Revolut Bank in ten more European markets in January, Revolut Bank is now present in 28 markets across the EEA,” it said in a statement.
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“In light of the withdrawal of Ulster Bank and KBC from the Irish market, Irish customers need alternative banking providers more than an e-money account,” he said.
“As Revolut Bank is now able to bring more competition and choice to the Irish banking market, we no longer plan to serve customers in Ireland using the e-money license that the Central Bank of Ireland has approved at late last year,” he added. .
Existing Revolut customers and new customers will be able to apply for a personal loan instantly and the company promises a response within seconds.
Daragh Cassidy, of change website Bonkers.ie, said the news that Revolut is launching banking services here is good for consumers.
“Revolut has literally revolutionized the banking industry since it started operating less than a decade ago,” he said.
“However, until now, many people still only used their accounts to send money or when traveling abroad. Revolut’s lack of credit products and its lack of a banking license in Ireland meant that people were probably reluctant to consider fintech for all of their banking needs,” he added.
“This is confirmed by the fact that most people kept their original bank account when signing up for Revolut,” he explained.
“But that will probably start to change and it will be interesting to see how the main Irish retail banks: AIB, Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB react,” he added.
Mr Cassidy added that it was disappointing that no information on an overdraft offer had been announced.
Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Ireland has defended how it handles proposed new entrants to the banking market amid reports that fintechs are unhappy with the pace of the licensing process.
Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne has called for an overhaul of the bank in this area and giving it a statutory mission for the development of competition in the financial services sector.
In a statement, the Central Bank said it operates a transparent and robust process for license applicants and has an active licensing pipeline across all regulated sectors.
“Authorization is an important part of the Central Bank’s job to protect consumers and investors, and to ensure the smooth functioning of the financial system,” he said.
“The Central Bank handles license applications from companies in all financial sectors in an open, engaged and constructive manner.”