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Revolut boss criticises ‘principle-driven’ UK regulation

Revolut CEO
Image credit: Revolut

The CEO of London-headquartered fintech Revolut has criticised the approach of UK financial regulation, saying the current “principle-driven” style of regulators is hurting the industry.

Nikolay Storonsky, speaking at the CityUK summit, said that while his firm initially admired the “innovative regulatory regime” present in the UK, recent tensions with compliance teams and regulators have been causing problems.

Storonsky said he feels that the UK regulatory system is too concerned with principles over actual rules, creating “grey zones” that create confusion and ultimately slow progress.

“I would look into making regulation less principle-driven and more rules-driven,” said Storonsky.

The fintech billionaire said that the current system causes “a lot of friction and that really slows down everything”.

When discussing a system driven by rules, Storonsky said to look to Singapore, which has a regulatory system that “allows you as a business to move faster”.

Revolut recently announced it is entering the buy now, pay later (BNPL) market with a limited rollout of the product for its customers in Ireland, with potentially more locations to come later.

The currently limited level of regulation of BNPL products in the UK may be why Revolut has yet to announce the service being extended to customers in Britain.

UK regulators are looking to tighten the rules on BNPL, having largely left the industry unregulated up until now.

Revolut has also had to face a significant wait to receive its full banking licence in the UK. The company’s boss has previously said that the delay was unexpected.

“We applied for 48 licences across the globe, and we received 44, and three of the licences that we haven’t received are actually in the UK,” Storonsky said earlier this month to City A.M.

Revolut has been one of UK tech’s biggest success stories. With a valuation of $33bn, Revolut is one of Europe’s most valuable private firms.

In May, the company began hiring for a head of investor relations with experience of public listings. However, Storonsky has said the current difficulties being faced by tech stocks means the company is unlikely to go public anytime soon.