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Building the bank of tomorrow - an Interview with Virgilijus Mirkes, CEO of Revolut Bank

Source: Invest Lithuania.

It has been two years since Revolut received an EMI and Special Purpose Bank (SPB) licence in Lithuania. How has your journey been so far and what effect has it had on Revolut’s expansion?

We opened an office in Lithuania in 2017, after considering the country’s Fintech-friendly business environment, smooth licensing process, and, of course, the readily-deployable local specialists. When submitting the licence applications, we enjoyed a clear, cooperative and transparent process during which we received all possible assistance from the Bank of Lithuania.

After we were granted EMI and SPB licences at the end of 2018, we continued to get advice, assistance and constant feedback from the regulator, and that was truly useful for expanding our operations. Of course, all of this is balanced with clear and strict rules on supervision after operationalisation.

Getting a licence in Lithuania has allowed us to expand our business across the EU. So, at the moment, our teams in Vilnius are responsible for accelerating the ambitious growth of RevolutBank in Europe.

Since 2019, Revolut has been building Revolut Bank. Is it difficult to gain market share as a newly established bank in the current economic climate?

We already have more than 300,000 Revolut customers in Lithuania. Therefore, offering banking products – insured deposit accounts and credit – was an appealing addition to the end-to-end financial products that are already available in the Revolut app. Our banking licence was the next step in building customer trust and encouraging more people in Lithuania to use Revolut as a daily financial partner.

We have been expanding Revolut Bank across CEE regardless of the pandemic, and I’d say we even have a competitive advantage in these uncertain times. In the peak of the pandemic, it is much safer to consult your phone or computer screen, rather than a bank teller. I see significant growth opportunities for our business model both in Lithuania and the world.

What role is the Lithuanian office playing in Revolut’s journey, and what is the roadmap ahead?

Lithuanian talent has been building Revolut from the very beginning, and the company has always had close ties with the country. Our Vilnius office currently employs more than 200 people across banking, operations, product development, customer support and more.

Our Lithuanian entities are now a hub for allRevolut’s European operations after Brexit. 70% of our 13 million customers are situated in Europe. Therefore, becoming a European bank has always been a priority.

We are building a next-generation bank here in Lithuania, and we have every ambition to leverage our SPB licence to expand operations across Europe which is an essential milestone in Revolut’s goal to build the world’s first truly global financial super-app.

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