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Revolut appoints UK chief in push for elusive banking licence

Revolut banking
Image credit: Revolut

Revolut has hired a new UK banking chief executive as the fintech continues its regulatory battle to secure a full UK banking licence.

Francesca Carlesi will head up Revolut NewCo, an arm of the company established to operate banking services, in December.

A veteran fintech executive, Carlesi for the past six years served as the CEO of Molo, a digitally native mortgage lender that she co-founded.

Prior to that, Carlesi’s background was in traditional finance, holding senior roles at both Barclays and Deutsche Bank, where she was global head of regulatory affairs.

“Revolut is the future of digital banking. With nearly eight million customers in the UK and a diversified product offering, the company is at the forefront of change in financial services, said Carlesi.

The move was first reported by Sifted.

Among the Italian’s primary tasks at Revolut – one of the UK’s most valuable private tech firms – will likely be securing a UK banking licence that has long eluded the company.

Founded in 2015, Revolut has always intended to offer banking services in the UK. In the European Union, thanks to a licence from Lithuania, Revolut has been approved to offer full banking services, however, in the UK – the company’s home and largest market – it has yet to be approved.

Revolut, currently licenced in the UK as an e-money institution, has faced a number of regulatory questions that have stalled its attempts to expand its offering in Britain.

An audit in March found three-quarters of its 2021 revenues could not be verified and the company was placed under further scrutiny last month when the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reprimanded the firm for its inaction in preventing payments from accounts that have been flagged as suspicious by law enforcement.

Read more: What next for Revolut if its UK banking licence is rejected?