Revolut has lost its UK banking chief executive and group chief financial officer, the latest departures from the London-based fintech whose culture has drawn scrutiny from regulators even as it seeks a banking licence in its home market.
James Radford, chief executive at Revolut NewCo UK, the entity intended to house the UK banking licence, left in March, according to his LinkedIn profile and documents filed with Companies House, the UK’s corporate registry. His departure has not previously been reported.
Separately, Revolut said on Thursday that chief financial officer Mikko Salovaara was leaving the fast-growing fintech “for personal reasons” after two years in the job.
The company is still awaiting a banking licence in its home market 28 months after first applying for one.
While its application has been pending with the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, Revolut has lost several of the most senior executives in its UK banking team. It has also faced an FCA-mandated review of its culture, which executives say has since been improved.
Meanwhile, its auditor BDO warned in March that there was a risk that revenues were “materially misstated” in its delayed 2021 accounts.
Radford left Revolut after three years to become chief executive for financial services at UK-based virtual network operator Lycamobile. Prior to his time at Revolut, he had stints as chief executive of the Cheque and Credit Clearing Company, which manages cheque clearing across the UK, as well as chief operating officer at Aldermore Bank.
Richard Holmes, chair of Revolut UK, confirmed Radford’s departure and said: “We wish [Radford] all the best in his new role at Lycamobile, and we look forward to announcing his successor soon.”
Meanwhile, Salovaara said he was “grateful for the opportunity” and “remain[ed] confident in the firm’s future success”.
Salovaara joined the company as vice-president of finance in January 2021 after roles including CFO for China and the Asia-Pacific at Kraft Heinz and an investor at Elliott Advisors. He was promoted to group CFO after four months at Revolut.
Revolut, which was valued at $33bn in a 2021 funding round — a then record for a privately held UK tech group — first lodged an application for a UK banking licence in January 2021. It received a European banking licence from the Bank of Lithuania in December 2021.
A UK bank licence would allow it to offer loans and other services to the more than 5.8mn clients it already has in the country. It would also act as a seal of approval to help win other banking licences in important markets.
Two months ago, Salovaara, who was not a central figure in the licensing application, told the FT that approval was coming “any day now”. Chief executive Nik Storonsky previously said in November 2021 that he hoped to secure a banking licence early in 2022.
The typical turnround time for licences to offer financial services in the UK is less than a year.
Last week, Storonsky blamed recent banking turmoil for the latest delays to its licence, claiming that the cause of the hold up “is really not us”.
The FCA and PRA declined to comment. Revolut said it did not comment on regulatory affairs.
Additional reporting by Laura Noonan in London