Revolut, which recently became the UK’s most valuable financial technology (fintech) firm after a $500-million funding round saw its value triple to £4.2 billion ($8.2 billion), previously stated that it views Australia as an internationally competitive place to do business, pledging to create 30 high-skilled jobs locally in the next year.
The new funding round will reportedly see the company expand its UK product suite (predominantly bank accounts, prepaid debit cards, budgeting, stock trading and money transfer services) to include loans and expand into new markets outside of Europe, including Australia. The fintech said it is aiming to increase its number of customers from 10 million to 100 million in the next five years.
As part of this ambition, the company launched in beta in Australia last year, after receiving an exemption from ASIC to distribute prepaid money cards and money transfer services to customers without holding an AFS licence for the provision of financial services. The legal framework for fintech exemptions of this kind was recently expanded in remit.
Matt Baxby becomes CEO of Revolut Australia
Revolut has now announced that it has hired several key appointments to head up the Australian business, including its first CEO.
The former chief financial officer of Bank of Queensland (BOQ), Matt Baxby, has been named as Revolut Australia’s chief executive officer.
Mr Baxby resigned from his post as BOQ’s CFO in October 2019 (replaced by Ewen Stafford), stating at the time that he was leaving to “pursue other leadership opportunities”.
During his seven-year tenure at BOQ, Mr Baxby was a leading figure in the bank’s acquisition of Virgin Money. The new Revolut Australia CEO also has knowledge of the UK market, having been Virgin Money’s commercial and strategy director in London.
In his new role heading up the fintech, Mr Baxby will be responsible for the development and execution of the “to market” strategy and scale-up of Revolut in Australia, along with all aspects of operating and financial performance.
As well as appointing a new CEO, the unicorn also revealed that it has welcomed Scott Jamieson, formerly of Westpac and 86 400, to Revolut Australia as its chief compliance officer.
Mr Jamieson was most recently the head of compliance for the fintech lender 86 400 and was Westpac’s executive manager for compliance, retail banking, for more than eight years (2007-2016).
Meanwhile, Michael Hendricks has been named as the fintech’s new chief risk officer.
Mr Hendricks, who was most recently running his own advisory business and a member of the board of the Blockchain Association of Australia, has held a number of roles at Australian banks, incuding ME Bank (general manager, cards and payments; and chief risk officer), ANZ (head of pricing and portfolio management, consumer cards), Citibank (head of decision management, Asia Pacific and Citibank Australia) and NAB (head of risk management and database marketing, UK cards, NAB Group UK; strategy advisory to general manager, cards; and head of business marketing).
When contacted by Mortgage Business, Revolut confirmed the appointments of the new Australian business, adding that it will release further announcements in due course.
“We expect to launch fully in Australia in the first half of this year, following a limited beta trial with select customers,” a spokesperson for the bank told Mortgage Business.
Revolut is one of several new fintechs looking to disrupt the Australian finance market.
Earlier this month, Australian fintech Hay officially launched to the market, with plans to tap into the burgeoning neobanking space.
The fintech, which recently received an Australian Financial Services Licence, is currently pursuing a restricted ADI licence, ahead of a rollout of a digital transaction account through its smartphone app.
According to Hay, its transaction account would contain “enriched payment information”, detailed monthly insights into spending habits, travel budgeting features and fee-free foreign exchange rates via its Hay Visa card.
The Sydney-based fintech – which also has offices in London and Belfast – also said it would not charge fees for transactions, purchases and cash withdrawals at ATMs across Australia, with no setup or monthly account-keeping fees.
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Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.