/retail banking

News and resources on retail banking, consumer finance and reinventing customer experience in finance.
Monzo: Covid:19 casts 'significant doubt' on ability to continue operating

Monzo: Covid:19 casts 'significant doubt' on ability to continue operating

The fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic casts "significant doubt" on Monzo's ability to continue as a going concern, says the challenger bank in its annual report, which shows a £113.8 million loss for the year.

Monzo has won over 4.4 million current account holders since its launch in 2015, taking on the UK high street giants with its app-based services and securing a valuation in the billions of pounds.

However, it has been battered by Covid-19, with new CEO TS Anil admitting in the annual report that the virus and its economic consequences are having a "significant impact" on the bank.

Anil - who recently took over from founder Tom Blomfield - insists that he is confident that the problems are short term and the bank stresses that it has a strong liquidity position and that things will operate as normal for customers.

However, the pandemic and associated social distancing and travel restrictions "create a significant risk to our revenue streams".

"Both overseas and UK spending has decreased significantly, reducing our fee income while restrictions remain in place. The Bank of England also dropped interest rates from 0.75% to 0.10%, reducing the amount we earn on our cash deposits," says the report.

Meanwhile, product launches have been delayed because they were not the right fit for customers during the crisis, further hitting revenues.

On top of this, the fundraising scene has been affected, something which Monzo experienced last month when it was forced to take a 40% discount on a £60 million funding round.

All of this indicates "that the ability of the Group to continue as a going concern is subject to material uncertainties".

The group directors' report is equally blunt, stating that "the Directors recognise there are material uncertainties that cast significant doubt upon the Group’s ability to continue as a going concern".

The bank says it is working hard to avoid further layoffs on top of 120 already made but warns that it expects the impact of Covid-19 to outlast the UK's furlough scheme and the salary cuts many execs have taken.

Anil says Monzo will soon launch "powerful new products" that generate revenue while Blomfield, now president, notes that the company's new business accounts already have 36,000 customers and look set to become a substantial revenue stream over the next year.

"Our focus right now is on becoming a sustainable company that’s here for the long haul," says Blomfield.

Comments: (2)

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 31 July, 2020, 06:081 like 1 like

Kudos to Monzo for using the pandemic as the fall guy.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 31 July, 2020, 13:152 likes 2 likes

A "bankless" bank struggling to operate in this COVID-19 quarrantine environment?