Monzo has been forced to abandon its bid to acquire a US banking licence following a fruitless two-year discourse with regulatory authorities.
In a statement, the bank says: “Following recent engagement with the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), we’ve decided to withdraw our banking license application for our US start-up. While this isn’t the outcome we initially set out to achieve, this allows us to build and scale our early-stage product offer in the US through existing partners and invest further in the UK.”
The news was first reported by the Financial Times, which said that Monzo bailed after it became clear the OCC would not support the loss-making bank’s bid.
Monzo in July issued another warning about its ability to continue as a going concern after reporting a £115 million loss for 2020/21. it also revealed that it is under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority over its compliance with money laundering rules.
Monzo said it was still committed to expanding in the US and would do so through its existing partnership with Ohio’s Sutton Bank, rather than as a standalone lender.
“We have big ambitions for Monzo US,” a spokesperson says. “There are many routes to market we’re exploring that have been successful for other market entrants who are now major players.”