Brexit withdrawal process causes challenger bank to cease UK operations

Josh Peachey's picture

N26, a German challenger bank, is closing accounts for UK customers on 15 April, blaming the Brexit withdrawal process.

The bank, which has a European banking licence but not a UK one, only started offering UK residents a bank account after the EU referendum took place.

The company said that the "timing and framework" of the Withdrawal Agreement made it impossible to continue, meaning that UK staff will move into new roles in the company. 

Thomas Grosse, Chief Banking Officer at N26, said: "While we respect the political decision that has been taken, it means that N26 will be unable to serve our customers in the UK and will have to leave the market."

Accounts will operate as normal until April 15th, by which time funds should be transferred. N26 is still relatively new and has 200,000 customers. On April 15th, accounts will be closed automatically with any remaining money being moved to a holding account. 

N26 is bigger in Germany, where it has its Berlin headquarters, and has recently launched in the US.

The main struggle for challenger banks comes from their large number of customers not
Other challenger banks Monzo and Starling have a UK banking licence and haven't indicated that they plan to close any UK operations.