October 19, 2018
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German digital bank N26 rivals British startups with UK launch

 A hand operates above a laptop's keyboard in London, Britain, Feb. 6, 2015. EPA-EFE/FILE/ANDY RAIN

A hand operates above a laptop's keyboard in London, Britain, Feb. 6, 2015. EPA-EFE/FILE/ANDY RAIN

Madrid, Oct 4 (efe-epa).- German digital bank N26 announced its launch in the United Kingdom on Thursday, adding a European rival to Britain's homegrown startups, according to a report from Dow Jones Newswires made available to EFE.

N26 said it has begun a beta launch of its mobile-only accounts, gradually expanding to a list of more than 50,000 UK subscribers. A full public launch is planned in November.

The Berlin-based bank said it has more than 1.5 million customers across 17 European markets and has grown rapidly since launching in 2015. N26 also said it plans a United States launch in the first half of 2019.

"The UK is one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world," said Valentin Stalf, chief executive and co-founder. "At N26, we have redesigned banking for the digital age and as a result we're the fastest growing mobile bank in all European markets we operate in."

N26 will be competing for British users with both incumbent lenders and a rapidly-expanding number of rival digital banks, the Dow Jones report added.

UK-based Revolut was valued at $1.70 billion in its last funding round in April, and claims nearly two million customers. App-only bank Monzo said it had passed one million customers in late September, and claimed to account for 15 percent of all new current account openings in the UK.

Among more established names, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. launched its consumer digital bank Marcus in the UK last week. Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC is also reported to be planning to launch a digital-only brand.

By Adam Clark

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