FinTech Futures: Top five stories of the week – 8 April 2022
Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
UK’s Zopa Bank hits profitability less than two years since launch
UK challenger Zopa Bank has turned a profit for the first time since acquiring its full UK banking licence less than two years ago.
The firm claims it is “one of the fastest digital banks to achieve profitability ever”.
Zopa was initially founded as a peer-to-peer lending company in 2005 before landing its bank licence and launching its banking services in June 2020.
Since then, Zopa Bank claims to have attracted £1 billion in deposits and issued over 250,000 credit cards in the UK. It also boasts over £1 billion worth of loans on its balance sheet.
ANZ and Worldline launch new payment service in Australia
ANZ Worldline Payment Solutions — a joint venture between Australian multinational ANZ and global payments services provider Worldline — has launched in Australia.
Aussie merchants will now be able to access payment solutions that will make it easier to transact with the rest of the world, the pair claim, and capitalise on Australia’s post-Covid recovery.
The aim, according to Worldline’s managing director of merchant services Vincent Roland, is to leverage both Worldline’s global scale and ANZ’s local knowledge and financial services expertise.
Bank of Italy bans N26 from “undertaking operations with new customers” over AML shortcomings
Italy’s central bank has said it is banning the Italian branch of German challenger N26 from taking on new customers after an “on-site inspection that took place between 25 October and 17 December 2021″ uncovered “significant shortcomings in respect of anti-money laundering [AML] legislation”.
The Bank of Italy has also banned N26 from offering new products and services to existing customers. Existing customer accounts are unaffected by the onboarding ban.
The central bank says N26 “has taken a number of actions to remedy these shortcomings”, but adds it intends to “verify that all the anomalies detected have been addressed” before it lifts the ban.
N26 says it takes the matter of money laundering “very seriously” and has been scaling up its global AML efforts since last year. “We are committed to accelerating and further improving our systems and operations in this area,” N26 says in a statement.
Blockchain.com valued at $14bn following Series D funding round
London-based crypto firm Blockchain.com has reportedly raised new funding that now values the company at about $14 billion, according to Bloomberg.
The financing round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners with participation from Edinburgh-based Baillie Gifford. The amount raised in the round has not been disclosed by the parties.
Both Lightspeed Venture Partners and Baillie Gifford contributed to Blockchain.com’s previous funding round, a $300 million Series C in March 2021, which also featured participation from Vy Capital, DST Global and LG Group.
RBC set to acquire UK wealth management firm Brewin Dolphin in £1.6bn deal
Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is set to acquire London-based Brewin Dolphin as it looks to expand into the UK wealth management market.
RBC’s subsidiary RBC Wealth Management has made a cash offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Brewin Dolphin at 515p per share, valuing the company at £1.6 billion.
The deal is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and is expected to be completed by the end of Q3 2022.
Brewin Dolphin is a provider of discretionary wealth management in the UK and Ireland with a network of more than 30 offices and assets under management of £59 billion as of 31 December 2021.