British digital bank Monzo to announce imminent U.S. launch: source

13 Jun 2019

British digital bank Monzo to announce imminent U.S. launch: source

By Lawrence White and Iain Withers

LONDON Fast-growing British digital bank Monzo is set to announce on Thursday its imminent launch in the United States, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Since its launch in 2015, Monzo has signed up more than 2 million customers in Britain, lured by its signature coral pink debit card and promise of slicker customer service than traditional banks.

Monzo is one of a range of so-called neobanks that have launched in Britain in recent years, joining a worldwide trend for digital-only banks that eschew traditional branch networks.

The new bank has seen rapid success in winning customers from the six large incumbent banks such as Lloyds (LON:LLOY) and RBS (LON:RBS) that dominate the market, although many customers have yet to switch their monthly pay cheques to Monzo.

The prize if Monzo succeeds in the United States' $7 trillion financial services sector is potentially huge, but banking experts say it will face a tough task.

"For UK fintechs looking to fly the nest, one major contrast will be the complexity of federal- and state-level laws, compared to the UK’s fintech-friendly regulatory environment," said Richard Lumb, group chief executive for financial services at consulting firm Accenture (NYSE:ACN).

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