Britain's Monzo narrows annual loss, IPO 'some ways down the road'

FILE PHOTO: A smartphone displays a Monzo logo in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - British digital bank Monzo marginally narrowed its annual loss in the year to February 2023 and said it had reached monthly profitability, as it battles to match some digital rivals that have already translated rapid growth into profits.

Monzo is one of Britain's highest-profile financial technology companies, having attracted 7.4 million customers with its bright coral cards and spend-tracking data since launching in 2015.

But unlike some online rivals such as Starling, it has yet to turn a full-year profit.

Monzo reported a net loss of 116.3 million pounds ($146.8 million) for the year, compared to a loss of 119 million the previous year.

CEO TS Anil told Reuters the bank was "some ways down the road" from reaching its ambition of going public, adding the company had not ruled out floating in New York rather than London, amid growing concerns about tech firms snubbing London.

"It's too early. We'll do the work well before we need to make a decision," Anil said when asked where Monzo could float.

"We will make a great public company one day," Anil added. "If at some point there's the right reason to raise capital [from investors] to invest even more, we will," he said.

The bank expects to post a full-year profit this financial year, Anil said, after the company said it reached monthly bottom-line profitability in March.

Monzo's revenue more than doubled to 355.6 million pounds in the year to February, boosted by a rebound in customer spending after pandemic lockdowns and expansion in services, while its deposits increased 34% to 6 billion pounds.

Monzo reiterated it remained under investigation for potential breaches of anti-money laundering rules, adding the probe was a "dual-track civil and criminal matter".

The company - which said it was co-operating with regulator the Financial Conduct Authority in their investigation - first disclosed the matter in 2021.

($1 = 0.7923 pounds)

(Reporting by Iain Withers; editing by Jason Neely)

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