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Neobanks: Our time has come

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Photo: iStock

With venture capital flooding in, the world’s biggest neobanks are more confident than ever. They still face serious questions about their long-term profitability and regulators are certainly paying them more attention, but amid the upheaval of Covid-19, freedom from legacy infrastructure has proved even more important than ever. The incumbents are rightly worried.

The neobanks’ implicit promise – encapsulated by names like Revolut – is a radically new set of financial institutions built from the ashes of the moral and technological bankruptcy of the old ones.

Sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief. It can seem like you’re missing the point if you ask a founder how the company will ever make money or fulfil its business objectives when it lacks the proper regulatory means to do so. Technology will overcome, the founder will insist. Global domination is still within reach.

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EMEA editor
Dominic O’Neill is EMEA editor. He joined Euromoney in 2007 to cover emerging markets, focusing on central and eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, and later on Latin America. Based in London, he has covered developed market banking since 2015.