Revolut annual losses double on rising risk control costs

FILE PHOTO: Woman holds smartphone with the Revolut app in front of a displayed Revolut logo in this illustration taken February 4, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - Digital banking app Revolut said its annual losses doubled to just over 200 million pounds ($278 million) as administrative costs rose from investment in risk, compliance and controls.

Administrative costs increased from 125 million pounds in 2019 to 266 million pounds in 2020, Revolut said, outpacing growth in revenues as it expands into new markets.

Founded in 2015 by former Credit Suisse trader Nik Storonsky and software developer Vladyslav Yatsenko, Revolut has since attracted more than 15 million retail customers with products including currency exchange, debit cards and stock trading.

The London-based start-up is one of Britain's biggest fintech success stories, hoovering up customers attracted by its cheap rates on foreign exchange as well as cryptocurrency investment and other products.

That success has fuelled its expansion, with the company applying for its U.S. banking license this year.

Revolut has drawn criticism, however, with Reuters reporting in 2019 on widespread complaints from customers about their funds being frozen and poor customer service.

The fast-growing fintech in April said it will hire around 300 staff in India as it builds out its global support hub there.

Revolut reported on Monday customer balances almost doubled from 2.4 billion pounds to 4.6 billion pounds, as it expands into markets including the United States, Australia and Japan.

(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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