App-only bank Monzo looks to expand into US

Discussions with US regulators are in the early stages

Shafi Musaddique
Friday 09 February 2018 15:20
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Monzo has signed up more than 450,000 users since it was founded in 2015
Monzo has signed up more than 450,000 users since it was founded in 2015

UK app-only bank Monzo is looking to expand into the US, its chief executive said on Friday.

Tom Blomfield told CNBC that Monzo is in the “very, very early stages” of discussions with US regulators.

"I think there's a huge market opportunity there, because there haven't really been any new banks in the last 10 years or so”, he said.

“So I think there is a big opportunity to use modern technology to launch a real consumer facing bank that does the kinds of things consumers expect from a smartphone."

Mr Blomfield said that he believes the cultural similarities that the US has with Britain makes it an attractive market.

“They speak the same language; they're broadly culturally similar, compared to other geographies around the world.”

Monzo has signed up more than 450,000 users since it was founded in 2015 and says it is increasing that total by more than 5 per cent each week.

The challenger bank attracted investment of £71m in November, more than doubling its valuation to £280m.

Monzo offers current accounts and has said that it is looking to launch overdraft facilities online.

Mr Blomfield said the bank is currently testing out overdrafts with a limited number of users and that they will be available to all Monzo customers later this year.

Monzo and app-only banks, such as Revolut and Starling Bank, have gained popularity in the UK, with a lack of fees and instant overview of spending habits available on mobile apps.

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