Germany’s $9 billion digital bank N26 to withdraw from the U.S.

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  • US customers of the N26 will no longer be able to use its app starting January 11, 2022.
  • The Berlin-based fintech said the move is aimed at focusing on its core European business.
  • It’s a reminder of how difficult it has been for European fintechs to expand their services in the US

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German digital bank N26 is shutting down its US operations, less than two and a half years after its launch in the country.

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N26’s 500,000 US customers will no longer be able to use its app starting January 11, 2022, the company said in a Statement Thursday.

The Berlin-based fintech, which was valued at $9 billion in a recent funding round, said it wants to focus on its core European business.

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“US customers will be able to use their accounts as usual until January 11, 2022, and will receive further instructions on how to withdraw their funds to ensure a smooth transition,” the bank said.

This is not the first time N26 has taken its services from a major English-speaking market. The firm withdrew from the UK early last year, alleging the country’s exit from the European Union. was N26 Allegedly Struggling to gain UK users.

The news is a reminder of how difficult it has been for European fintechs to expand their services in the US

British digital bank Monzo, which began testing its service in the US in 2019, recently withdrew its application for a US banking license.

US online brokerage Robinhood, on the other hand, tried and failed to launch internationally last year, scrapping plans to roll out a UK version of its app.

In addition to increasing its focus on Europe, N26 said it will also increase spending on new features such as investment products in the coming year. It also plans to expand into Eastern Europe amid growing demand in the region.

The company said it would aim to relocate US employees to other areas of its business “where possible”.

The US expansion of the N26, which began in July 2019, has faced several setbacks. For one, the firm laid off 10% of its New York-based workforce last year, citing challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic. Its head of US operations, Nicolas Klopp, later left the bank.

The N26 is also facing regulatory pressure in its domestic market. German regulators fined the bank $5 billion in June for failing to submit a suspicious activity report on money laundering in a timely manner.

And last month, as N26 announced a new $900 million cash injection from investors, the company said it had reached an agreement with watchdog BaFin to limit how many customers onboard each month. Huh.

N26 has raised a total of $1.7 billion in funding to date. The company counts American investment manager Coatue, Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC and tech billionaire Peter Thiel as investors.

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