FinTech Futures: Top five stories of the week – 19 May 2023
Here’s our pick of five of the top news stories from the world of finance and tech this week.
Bank of England reportedly planning to reject Revolut banking licence
The Bank of England is reportedly planning to reject fintech firm Revolut’s application for a banking licence.
The UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) told the government in March, according to The Telegraph, that it intended to issue a warning notice to Revolut over concerns around the fintech’s balance sheet.
Revolut has reportedly claimed auditors’ concerns were about revenues, not the balance sheet.
According to The Telegraph, the warning has not been issued and talks are ongoing to ensure the licence application is successful.
Revolut’s existing services will not be affected if it is refused a licence but the company would be unable to offer mortgages and loans to UK customers.
Ripple acquires Metaco in $250m deal
Crypto and blockchain solutions provider Ripple has acquired Swiss-based digital asset custody and tokenisation tech firm Metaco for $250 million.
Ripple says the acquisition will enable it to expand its enterprise offerings and provide its customers with the technology to custody, issue and settle any type of tokenised asset.
In turn, the deal will enable Metaco, best known for its digital asset custody and tokenisation infrastructure solution Harmonize, to “dramatically accelerate” its growth trajectory, the firms say, through access to Ripple’s base of “hundreds” of customers, new capital to address demand and vast resources.
Zepz reportedly axing 420 jobs as firm looks to streamline operations
Global cross-border remittance platform Zepz is reportedly laying off 420 employees, around 26% of its total workforce, as the company looks to streamline its operations.
The cuts will fall largely on Zepz’s customer care and engineering teams, CNBC reports, with the firm planning to centralise these divisions.
Zepz, which is headquartered in London and has offices across the globe, currently has a headcount of 1,600 staff.
The cuts are reportedly part of what the firm refers to as its “workforce optimisation” plans, removing duplicate roles that have arisen at the company following the combination of Sendwave and WorldRemit.
Binance set to withdraw from Canada citing new guidance
Binance has become the latest cryptocurrency exchange to exit the Canadian market citing new guidance.
In a statement released on 12 May, Binance said it was “joining other prominent crypto businesses in proactively withdrawing from the Canadian marketplace”.
“Unfortunately, new guidance related to stablecoins and investor limits provided to crypto exchanges makes the Canada market no longer tenable for Binance at this time,” Binance says.
“We put off this decision as long as we could to explore other reasonable avenues to protect our Canadian users, but it has become apparent that there are none.”
The move follows crypto exchange OKX pulling out of Canada in March citing the same reasons, and US blockchain infrastructure platform Paxos announcing its withdrawal from the country in April.
ZestMoney founders step down following failed acquisition by PhonePe
The co-founders of Indian buy now, pay later (BNPL) start-up ZestMoney have stepped down from their roles just weeks after payments giant PhonePe called off a proposed acquisition of the firm.
CEO Lizzie Chapman, CTO Ashish Anantharaman, and Priya Sharma, who served as both CFO and COO, are all set to leave the company.
“Over the last few weeks, we have done a lot of thinking about the best path forward for ourselves given where the company is at,” Chapman writes in a LinkedIn post.
“And whilst it has been very hard for us to arrive at this conclusion, we have decided that we will step back from our day-to-day operating roles with ZestMoney,” says Chapman, adding that all three co-founders will continue to be “significant” shareholders in the company.
A new leadership team has been appointed in their stead, with the company’s vice president of finance and financial operations Mohit Chhajer, chief banking officer Mandar Satpute, and SVP of growth Abhishek Sharma set to take the reins.