German mobile bank N26 is quitting the UK, saying that Brexit means it can no longer operate in the country with its European banking licence.
In a statement on its website, the challenger says it will close all UK customer accounts by 15 April. Until then, accounts will work as normal.
Thoomas Grosse, chief banking officer, N26, says: "While we fully respect the decision [Brexit] that has been taken, it means that N26 will in due course be unable to service our customers in the UK and will have to leave the market."
Launched in Germany and Austria in January 2015, N26 entered the UK in 2018, with CEO Valentin Stalf telling CNBC the move was a “no-brainer for us, independent of Brexit”.
However, concerns about the validity of a European banking license in a post-Brexit Britain were live at the time, with another German player, car maker VW, looking to switch to a UK licence.
N26 has not given details on how many UK customers it has, but the firm had a waiting list of 50,000 when it launched in the country and last month boasted that it has five million users worldwide.
However, the fact that N26 has not gone through the motions of applying for a UK banking licence and raising the relevant regulatory capital suggests that the firm was struggling to keep its head above water in the face of strong competition from other UK neobanks, such as Starling and Monzo.