Revolut is set to grow Irish operations after Brexit

3 Feb 20201.23k Views

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With uncertainty caused by Brexit and increasing consumer demand, Revolut will hire up to 50 staff in Ireland this year to serve its western Europe business.

Today (3 February), the Telegraph reported that Revolut plans to migrate its responsibility for European payments from London to bases in Ireland and Lithuania after Brexit. The news comes just months after the fintech start-up said it was considering launching a new ‘payments and technology hub’ in Ireland.

At the time, Revolut commented on its plans for both Ireland and Lithuania: “We have also decided to explore the creation of a payments and technology hub in the Republic of Ireland, which is well known for its technology focus and talent pool. Our investments in both these European countries has been driven by what is in the best interests of our 7m customers.

“We’re excited to be working with some of the most highly regarded tech and financial services talent in both these countries.”

‘Brexit is the initial cause but it’s also a reflection of the great customer appetite we’ve seen across Europe’
– RICHARD DAVIES

This week, Revolut’s new chief operating officer and banking chief executive Richard Davies told The Telegraph about the company’s plans post-Brexit.

“Strategically for Europe we are moving to a three-target licensed entity model. We have already got the UK EMI [electronic money institution] licence, and that will continue to serve the UK clients,” he said.

“The strategy is to have our central and eastern European clients on our Lithuanian EMI and bank licence. For our western Europe clients, we are in the process with the Central Bank of Ireland around authorising there to have western European clients on our Irish licence.”

Davies said that the decision to pursue a three-licensed hub model was made when the company considered the loss of passporting rights into EU countries after the Brexit transition agreement ends at the end of the year.

“Brexit is the initial cause but it’s also a reflection of the great customer appetite we’ve seen across Europe where we’ve got millions of customers and growing very rapidly,” he added.

“I think a responsible business needs to be acting around that and hence we’ve been thinking very carefully around that, partly with Lithuania in the first place, but as we’ve really grown with scale in Europe, having more than one regulated entity for Europe is really important and very common.”

Hiring in Ireland

According to the Revolut executive, the three hubs in Europe will have management teams very close to each market. Revolut’s new CEO for Ireland, Ulster Bank veteran Joe Heneghan, stepped into his role in September 2019 as the company was seeking its e-money licence from the Central Bank.

As the challenger bank continues to progress its application for relevant Irish regulatory licences, Heneghan will also serve as the in-jurisdiction point of contact for the regulator and relevant stakeholders.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Heneghan said: “It’s a really positive news story for Ireland in that Revolut is going to set up the western European hub out of Dublin. We’re in the process of applying for an EMI licence – the same that we use to operate out of the UK at the moment. When we get that licence, then we’ll be able to passport into other European countries.”

According to Heneghan, Revolut plans to hire between 40 and 50 people in Ireland this year, including a number of high-level roles such as a new European chief operations officer and a head of regulatory reporting.

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com