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German regulator imposes limit on number of new customers digital bank can sign each month

BaFin limits the number of new customers that digital bank N26 can enrol until it is reassured on issues it has raised about the company

German digital bank N26 has had a cap put on the number of new customers it can onboard each month, after Germany’s financial regulator raised concerns about the organisation.

The bank was founded in 2013 and has grown rapidly, with an average of 170,000 new customers being signed up each month this year, according to the Financial Times. It has agreed to limit this to between 50,000 and 70,000 new customers a month after regulator BaFin asked it to address certain issues.

Last month, the bank was fined €4.25m by the regulator for weak anti-money laundering practices.  

On its blog, the company, which has 1,500 staff, mainly in Berlin, said it is temporarily changing the number of new accounts it will open reach month. “To lay even stronger foundations for our business in the future, we are increasing our focus on our service experience, product offering and processes – to become an even better bank for you in the years to come,” it said.

“Based on this decision, in conjunction with the overwhelming demand for N26’s digital banking products, we will be making a temporary adjustment to the number of new bank accounts that we can offer each month.”

The bank said this means that it might not be able to provide every new customer with an N26 account instantly, in the short term, but recommended wannabe customers to sign into its waiting list. 

“Our teams are working hard to make this process as smooth and seamless as possible, and we’ll be in touch as soon as we’re able to offer you the account of your choice,” it added.

N26 said its existing customers are not affected.

Read more about N26

  • German digital bank is fined by financial services regulator for failing in relation to its anti-money laundering practices.
  • German challenger bank N26 leaves the UK, saying Brexit is the reason behind the decision due to the removal of passporting rights.

In its latest funding round, N26 secured $900m, valuing it at over $9bn. The bank said: “With the recent announcement of [over] $900m Series E funding round, N26 will continue to invest heavily in making your digital banking experience even better.”

Global investment in fintech reached record levels in the first half of this year, totalling $98bn.

Figures revealed in KPMG’s latest Pulse of fintech report show the recovery is in full swing after investments were largely stalled during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year, $121.5bn was invested in fintech globally, with $87bn of that in the second half. The figures include venture capital and private equity investment, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Venture capital investment in the UK fintech sector reached $11.4bn in the first half of this year, more than double the amount for the whole of last year.

Read more on IT for financial services

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