Revolut’s best-kept accounts aren’t its checking accounts. These are his financial accounts. The neo-bank has just exceeded 25 million customers and now wants to go to India. But it has, once again, delayed the publication of the annual report. We are not talking about the figures for the year 2022 but those of the year 2021, which have continued to remain well hidden for several months.
Initially, Revolut was supposed to release them last September. Then, the establishment had postponed the date to December 31. But we will still have to wait until 2023, according to exclusive information published by the media. AltFi. Could it be internal pressure? External pressure from regulators? A difficulty on the part of audit firms? Nothing, absolutely nothing, is specified at this stage.
A clue, however, is found in the pages of the FinancialTimes of last September. When Revolut postponed for the first time the deadline for the publication of its accounts, the American financial newspaper provided proof that the British regulator had not accepted the documents sent by the accounting firm BDO. The conclusions made were “inadequate” according to the regulator, with “an unacceptably high risk of material misstatement”.
Revolut’s business model would, based on 2021 accounts, be profitable for the company, its boss and founder Nik Storonsky said a few weeks ago. For most startups, especially among neo-banks, this is the Holy Grail. Going green would confirm that the establishment’s solution is sustainable, at a time when its main source of income remains dependent on the use of customers’ bank cards.
For the regulator, it would be on this point that the figures would pose a problem. The method of recording transactions, to derive on the amount of income, would be limited to criteria that do not please the financial police, because they would be, according to them, a distorted reflection of reality and therefore of the health of the company. This confrontation with regulators may also explain why the neo-bank born in England does not yet have a license as a credit institution (like a real bank) in its own country.
Delay on products in France
In the other European countries, several expected novelties are also slow to arrive. In France, last year, Revolut became “a real bank” and offered its customers to obtain a French IBAN, rather than the Lithuanian IBAN attached to their account and which posed a problem in the face of IBAN discrimination. Since this arrival, nothing has changed in terms of credit, authorized overdraft, or even savings. However, with its current banking licenses on the old continent, Revolut can claim such products.
In the end, something seems to be slowing down Revolut. It is no longer the various confinements, which forced it to find profitability elsewhere than via its bank cards, but this time the regulators which pose a problem and which push Revolut to have to review its strategy. Overall, there is a return to the initial strategy of the neo-bank, namely to reach 100 million customers to be able to count only on its interchange rate of its cards to earn money. To see what 2023 will have in store for us, in addition to the publication of the 2021 accounts.