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Monzo abandons U.S. banking licence bid

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: A smartphone displays a Monzo logo in this illustration

LONDON (Reuters) -British digital bank Monzo has withdrawn its application for a U.S. banking licence after more than two years of negotiations with regulators, in a further setback for the loss-making bank.

"Following recent engagement with the OCC (Office of the Comptroller of the Currency), we've decided to withdraw our banking license application for our U.S. start-up," Monzo said in a statement.

The bank said it was still committed to growing its U.S. venture - which it launched in 2019 - and would invest further in Britain.

"There are many routes to market we’re exploring that have been successful for other market entrants who are now major players," the bank added.

The decision was first reported by the Financial Times.

Monzo has attracted five million customers since launching in 2015, but has struggled to turn its popularity into profits, with its annual losses widening to 130 million pounds in the year to February.

The bank's auditors warned its losses cast uncertainty over its ability to continue as a going concern for a second straight year, while the firm also faces a regulator investigation into potential breaches of anti-money laundering rules.

(Reporting by Iain Withers, editing by Huw Jones, Kirsten Donovan)

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