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Revolut CFO resigns following money laundering controversy (techcrunch.com)
311 points by braythwayt 54 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 241 comments



How do I cancel my account? Nothing in the FAQ and support chat in the app is trying to sell me a metal card.

EDIT: found it: https://www.revolut.com/help/profile/i-want-to-terminate-my-...

EDIT2: What a shit show, I have been trying to delete my account for more than 30 minutes now. When you chat through the app you are first connected to a bot which you need to tell you want to talk to a human, after waiting a while you finally get a human which then tells you to authenticate your self by signing into the app!? So thinking something must be borked with the app I close it and go back in only to find out I am back at the end of the queue for support chat which is now "experiencing high volumes"...

EDIT3: I still have an account :( the wait is 1 hour now... I can't find any emails address to send me account termination to. WTF

EDIT4: Still trying to find where to send my termination email or GDPR complaint (where do I find who the data protection officer is?). I Found that the address listed on their website is not the same as the one in the UK company registry: https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/08804411

EDIT5: Crunchbase has "support@revolut.com" listed so I will give that a try.

EDIT6: "Your message wasn't delivered to support@revolut.com because the address couldn't be found, or is unable to receive mail." :(


Revolut has terrible customer support, even for paying customers of the highest tier (and they're super expensive!).

Their in-app chat support agents take ages to respond and are either robots, or they act like they're robots. They know very few things, and will never let you speak to someone who can actually help you. They intentionally hide their email addresses, their "chat agents" always refuse to give you an email and you won't find an email address on their website either. I also tried support@revolut.com and also info@, hello@ and others.

I once had to write a PHYSICAL LETTER that I sent via post to complain. They immediately responded via email (and complied with my requests) from the following address. Feel free to use it to complain:

formalcomplaints@revolut.com


The absolute irony of having to send a physical letter to get support for an online bank is not at all lost on me.


In light of so many companies making it difficult to cancel, maybe a new pattern that we should take is, if we're going to be putting substantial money into a service, we need to test not only the promised capabilities of a service, but also the capability to cancel the service.

Call to action: when a company promises something, the pitch appears good enough and bad enough to be true, sign up, then immediately cancel the service to see if its possible and what the hurdles are. For each additional service you enable with the company, iterate on the cancellation process. If at any point you find that the cancellation process becomes 'too much', you can evaluate whether the value provided by the company exceeds its inability to cancel or provide refunds.

Ability to cancel a service should be a function of the service, no?


Out of interest, do you feel so strongly that money laundering should be prevented that you are unwilling to do business with a company that might be not doing enough to prevent it?

If not, what is it that Revolut has done according to this article that makes you want to quit?


Nothing to do with that. It's because of this: https://twitter.com/phillipcaudell/status/110108122935141580... and how the company operates. Not something I want to support.


Oh I see, fair enough, that makes a lot more sense! Good on you for taking an ethical stance and good luck actually cancelling.


In addition to the ethics, I'd be very concerned about being a customer of Revolut in the future.

Once they stop buying market share, this attitude toward others is likely to apply to their customers as well.


Wow he really comes across as someone who doesn't know how to lead.


He’s a boss not a leader. Fear and intimidation is a great way to keep churn high so people will give up their stock :p


I'm not the OP, but if you're interested in criticisms of Revolut, here's a complaint/rant letter (yes, physical letter) that I sent to them half a year ago: https://pastebin.com/L507bvf7


Great letter. How did that go, did they reply to your satisfaction?


They gave some justifications for my complaints and apologized. They let me cancel my Metal plan without deducting the cancellation fee, as per my request. They sent me a copy of all my data as I later requested, and deleted my account.


Revolut is not insured by FSCS, the standard UK deposit insurance scheme (because it's not a "bank", it's "something something digital").

They say all money is parked in a trust account at a regular bank in Lithuania. But I wouldn't want to be involved in testing how well that setup hold up in court.


Revolut has the same Electronic Money license in the UK as TransferWise, meaning that the money is parked at a regular bank in the UK, but not under your own name. However, Revolut received a banking license in Lithuania in December 2018, and should soon start operating as a normal bank with the standard 100,000€ insurance, demanded by the EU. Yet, if Revolut failed at some point in the future, it's unclear how the Bank of Lithuania would be able to cope with the liability, since Revolut already has more users than there are people in Lithuania[1].

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/money/2018/dec/22/lithuania-icel...


Cats Protection has a story to tell about Kaupting.



I highly recommend Monzo instead :) it is light years ahead of Revolut.


Revolut is the only bank I know of that does free fx conversions, it's a huge feature and money saver for people that have bank accounts in different countries and currencies.


> Revolut is the only bank I know of that does free fx conversions, it's a huge feature and money saver for people that have bank accounts in different countries and currencies.

Try TransferWise borderless.


"Revolut is the only bank I know of that does free fx conversions, it's a huge feature and money saver for people that have bank accounts in different countries"

I am interested in what you mean by "free" - I think you mean that they charge no fee for the currency conversion but what about the conversion rate ? Are you suggesting they give you the current, spot rate with no basis points charged at all ?


I have a Revolut account, a GBP Halifax account, and a EUR N26 account. Twice now I have accidentally topped up my GBP Revolut from the EUR N26 account instead of the GBP Halifax account, and both times I found that transferring the money from the GBP Revolut account to the EUR Revolut 30 seconds later actually made a small profit from my errors.


I have Monzo, it's the rate you get when you use Google. Not a made up one to hide fees.


Yes.


Ditto - I use TransferWise every single month and it's been a really good experience so far.


TransferWise charges a small fee even for conversions within their Borderless account.

In the Revolut app, I can convert, for example, EUR>USD>EUR (on a weekday; they tack on an additional 0.5% or so on weekends) and maybe lose a cent in the process.


Transferwise charges 0.5% for fx conversions as far as I know.


pretty sure Revolut actually uses transferwise for fx transfers

edit: my bad, seems like I'm confused with something else but can't figure out what!


Do you have a source? Because they don't.


sorry I'm mistaken with something else but can't remember what!


> sorry I'm mistaken with something else but can't remember what!

Probably N26[1], who use TransferWise for in-app currency exchanges[2][3].

[1] https://www.n26.com/ [2] https://transferwise.com/help/article/2340141/euro-transfers... [3] https://n26.com/en-eu/transferwise


For what it's worth, Monzo is a Bank, Revolut isn't


Monzo does that.


Monzo is only available to residents of the UK.


I started with Monzo but switched to Revolut, and I can say Monzo is not light years ahead at all.


The people of London will have to disagree with you. Monzo has won the war there.


What war? All banks are better than both Monzo and Revolut in almost all aspects. They only reason everyone (myself included) has Monzo and Revolut is because VC are happy to pay my FX fees until I ditch them for the next VC funded app


> All banks are better than both Monzo and Revolut in almost all aspects

You probably have never used Monzo or Revolut then XD or perhaps you work for one of these banks. Hilarious comment though.


Interesting response. Why do you think that?

I am actually using both and I am pretty happy with them, mainly because of their FX rates and stylish colours. On the other hand though, I would never send my salary there and I don't trust that they are not selling my data or that they have the magnitude of security processes Santander or Barclays have in place.


Sure, but that's one city out of thousands. Revolut is an awesome card for travelling, comissionless exchanges at the interbank rate and is available throughout europe, and it's winning there. Where it counts.


all the things you mentioned Monzo does as well. Except it's not available everywhere in the world, which sucks honestly as I moved to the US :/


i use transferwise which i trust more to be around in 10 years and not doing anything idiotic with my money and bank account details

any company with roots/ties in the cryptocurrency scene is waving a giant red flag to users, as confirmed by the latest money laundering mess revolut is going through


Strange you trust a middleman more than an a actual first-party tier-1 bank (your Revolut UK account is a Lloyds account).


> Strange you trust a middleman more than an a actual first-party tier-1 bank (your Revolut UK account is a Lloyds account).

No it isn't, the money is just held in a Lloyds or Barclays account. Revolut are not a fully-regulated bank, they're an Electronic Money Institution. The same as TransferWise. If you trust Revolut, you're also trusting a middleman.


They have received a bank license recently so they are in process of becoming a full fledged bank.


They have a European banking licence, but from what I understand, they operate as an "electronic money institution" [1][2] in the UK.

[1] https://blog.revolut.com/how-emoney-companies-are-growing-up...

[2] https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/electronic-money-payment-instit...


Yes. They only got the EU banking license in December. It will take at least 1-2 years before they become a bank. They will start in Estonia and then passport their banking license to other countries, eventually to UK, too. For now they are still using LLoyds bank account to hold all customer money in UK and are electronic money institution.


> They have received a bank license recently so they are in process of becoming a full fledged bank.

Sounds great, and I hope TransferWise go down that route one day too. But it still doesn't mean your Revolut account is the same as a Lloyds one.


of course i use a real bank for a long term savings and checkings account

i use transferwise for converting money quickly at the market rate plus a small markup rather than the higher fees and longer wait times to wire money across "real" bank accounts, the same thing you can do with revolut. i don't want or need either to replace lloyds, chase, barclays, BOA, etc.


Monzo is a real bank


That's not a war, that's one battle for one city.


London is one of the huge hub of Europe.


What are the reasons one should get a banking app? I’ve never heard of Revolut or Monzo.


The killer feature for both Monzo and Revolut, is that when you use the card to pay for something, the app notifies you immediately. Sometimes it's fast enough that you have confirmation of the transaction before the merchant does.

_edit_ I didn't mean to imply that this was _unique_ to only Monzo and Revolut worldwide. But it is unusual in the UK - it is it is something that regular UK Big banks don't do, or are rushing to catch up with now.


I (think I) have that with an Amex card linked to Apple Pay.

I get the iOS notification instantly when I pay for something with the card, whether in person or online.

Is this something more? (I'm a potential adopter if so)


Talking about Revolut (and I have the Metal package):

1) good fx rate, I think it's google exchange rate with no fees for converting from/to various currencies

2) really easy transactions between friends (makes it really easy to settle up our holiday bills, could have an integration with Splitwise...)

3) almost instant feedback in the app about purchases

4) really nice analytics

5) virtual (unlimited?) cards, each with their own limit: I have a virtual card for my online purchases and my physical card has online purchases disabled

6) despite what others said, I've found the customer support to be all right

7) traveling insurance

8) (don't remember the exact amount) cheap-ish device insurance (eg for my phone)

9) metal card (as in, not a piece of plastic)

10) accounts in a shitload of currencies (used gbp, euro and usd so far)

11) contactless (but well, all cards seem to be like that)

12) (not using this) one can buy crypto coins via the app


N26 also does this. Also sometimes faster than the merchant.


Amex app does this. Instantly.


No it doesn't. Apple Pay can notify you if you've connected the Amex there, but the notification doesn't come from Amex app, at least on iOS.

Edit: It seems the functionality is there, but it doesn't work for Contactless, which is the majority of transactions I've done.


I have both an Amex and a Monzo account, and the Monzo account is far more reliable than the Amex when it comes to instant notification. Yes, both have this feature, but I've found that only Monzo does it 100% reliably.


My capital one card does that too.


VCs paying your FX fees


App only. Everything is free. Budgetting. Security. Traveling. Splitting bill or sending money. The reasons are usually infinite.


Yeah, real blessing for travelling it seems - for last 2 years, every time we travel somewhere, we meet somebody (young, from Europe) who has some issues withdrawing money/paying with Revolut. Wasting hours running around town finding which ATM/branch would work with some obscure semi-bank account.

It has its benefits, but travelling around the world currently doesn't seem like one.


I travel quite a lot and I've had a few problems paying with the Revolut card, but not more than with my traditional bank credit cards (for example a few years ago, my card from a normal bank wouldn't work in Qatar, to this day I don't know why).

I have learned on my own skin that travelling with a single card is not a good idea. I always have two (plus some hard cash just in case). But Revolut has became my first choice to pay abroad because it charges no commission when paying with foreign currency (I suppose they make some money by tweaking exchange rates, but so do normal banks, and I have checked in practice that Revolut is much cheaper). So even if it's not perfect, I would say travelling around is and advantage.

By the way, what I don't understand about Revolut is why they never charged me the tips I paid when I was in New Orleans last summer... they had this weird tipping system at restaurants where you would first pay the raw prices, and then you would write the tip manually on a piece of paper and they were supposed to charge it later on, except they never did.


Completely standard in the US... I am surprised that's legal that they're not charging you for that (since it likely means they're not paying the restaurant that money)


IMHO it doesn't seem legit that they can initiate transaction for X amount, give you a receipt where you can write amount Y, and then charge you for X+Y sometime later.

I really don't want to deal with my bank if by some chance amount Y is not what I wanted.

From my (European) point-of-view this seems completely ridiculous, since here I see the actual amount before I have to swipe/insert the card into the device.

However, I completely agree with you that it's not fair to the restaurant/workers if they don't actually get the tip.


Yes, it's very strange to me too as another European (although I did want to pay the tips and not screw the workers, of course).

Not that I like tipping systems at all, I find them an unnecessary hassle for the customer and detrimental to workers' rights, but if you have to have it I found the system in Canada (at least in Vancouver) much saner: you could key the tip amount into the POS machine when you pay, or directly select a tip percentage and the machine would add the tip for you. Compared to that, having to actually calculate the amount by hand and write it with a pen in the restaurants in New Orleans, blindly trusting that they would eventually charge that amount, looked like... last century.


I have Monzo and Revolut and they do charge you later for tips last time I checked. But it would be great if they couldn't, it's a huge security fail in my opinion.

Checked Monzo again, they have this in american transactions:

> Restaurants in the USA

> Restaurants in the USA are a bit of a special case. The waiter runs your card for the meal's amount and then, after youtip, they cancel the first transaction and charge you again for the meal plus your generous tip.

> REAL TIME

> The problem is that, until the first transaction reverses (10 days later) we don't have a way to tell that the restaurant charged you once or twice.

> Legacy banks will block the initial transaction amount in your account and release it 10 days later, but only the amount + tip will appear in your statement :)


Where do you travel? The cards are on the Visa or Mastercard network so I'd expect the majority of ATMs to support Revolut.


south america, asia in these cases (bolivia, argentina, indonesia were the last ones)


Using Revolut and Monzo, I never had problems in South America and Asia (except for a few hickups with Revolut security options in Cancun). I've seen these kind of problems happening NUMEROUS times with plenty of different banks to me and my friends. It is just irresponsible to travel with a single bank card.


I've been traveling a LOT (from San Francisco to Taiwan) with my Monzo/Revolut and the only problems I had were in Cancun were Revolut's "location-based withdrawal" was detecting the charge to be too far from my phone. I had to disable it to make it work.


Monzo has an emergency web site where you can freeze/unfreeze your card or report stolen. Pretty useful feature if you happen to lose your phone.


"Your message wasn't delivered to support@revolut.com because the address couldn't be found, or is unable to receive mail."

Deleting my account now as well


Send a letter, by certified mail if not prohibitively expensive:

9th Floor 107 Cheapside, London, United Kingdom, EC2V 6DN

"Cheapside", indeed!


Cheapside is market in old English. Cheap is similar to Shop.


You can send GDPR request anywhere they communicate with customers. Even via Facebook. They have to respond in 30 days. It's their business to route the message where it belongs/can be processed. You don't have to hunt for their DPO. Keep the screenshots/records of your attempts at communication.


Just do a GDPR on it


Their "friendly" twitter account blocked me because I said their recent ads are not original (copied Spotify).

I'm a premium/black card client, and will be removing my money right away and closing my account. Their behavior is just so hypocrite


I’m looking forward to the coming Theranos/Frye Festival postmortem exposés.

With respect to the CFO, My uninformed guess is that he originally argued for compliance, but was bullied into “playing along” with the growth at ALL costs mantra.


They for sure have an independent compliance officer who is responsible towards the FCA. That’s the one to bully, not the CFO.


That's not going to happen. This schadenfreude is sad and hard to understand. You're comparing companies that were criminal enterprises that produced no value to a real company that has millions of happy and real customers. Their app has a 4.9 rating on the app store...


This kind of exemplifies the classic startup tension between playing by the rules and ignoring the rules for the sake of moving fast, breaking things, and capturing market share. Paul Carr on Uber: " Laws don't exist merely to frustrate the business ambitions of coastal hipsters: They also exist to protect the more vulnerable members of society." https://pando.com/2012/10/24/travis-shrugged/


Or more accurately, they exist to preserve existing monopolies that have lobbied for regulatory barriers to market entry.


Unfortunately, they exist for both reasons, one of which we want and one of which we don't, and I have thus far not found a good way to disentangle the two.


This is where we have to say, "It depends." Laws that throw up barriers to selling drugs without expensive testing and jumping through regulatory hoops are not there just to protect the profits of Big Pharma.

But some laws definitely exist to perpetuate crony capitalism. See the rules that make it nearly impossible to start a new bank in Canada.

And some laws exist to protect consumers from entrepreneurs that move fast and break the lives of people who trust them. See the history of banking before there were laws restricting banks. Note that these are the same laws, performing different purposes at different times.

This touches on Chesterton's Fence: It might be a good idea to remove a lot of the regulation around banking in Canada, but not without understanding all of the problems that those laws were designed to fix, and making sure that whatever replaces those laws serves the same purpose.

All-too-often, we hear "We no longer need that protection, circumstances have changed." This is often naïve, as the reason circumstances have changed is the presence of those outdated laws. Remove them, and we revert back to the circumstances that led us to create the laws in the first place.


If you want to cheer for them, carry on.

They have already been revealed as a company that flouts employment law and every standard of decency. If you find my attitude towards such an enterprise "sad," well, carry on with that as well.

I am not here to cheer for the amoral "It doesn't matter how we get there, as long as the result looks good according to the metrics people use to decide whether to give us money."


That's not at all the point I'm making.

Who said anything about employment law or decency? They simply have nothing in common with a pharmaceutical company that committed fraud and delivered fake medical reports to patients or a festival that scammed hundreds of people out of their money... If anything they could be compared to Uber. We can hate them for how they treat their employees or how they break some laws but they will not end up like Theranos or Fyre festival.


Let's wait and see, shall we?


Given that the top post is someone who is unable to cancel their account, and is now considering sending a GDPR complaint due to their difficulties in canceling service, I would argue this company is swiftly heading into criminal behavior (if not already there with the money laundering)


I guess he wasn't hitting his KPIs or working enough weekends.


That tweet with the Slack screenshot, plus a couple of interviews I read, paint the picture of a person who is borderline psychopathic.

Edit: For anyone wondering this is the Slack screenshot about KPIs https://twitter.com/phillipcaudell/status/110108122935141580...


Or opted to hit KPIs instead of worrying about legal compliance.


When I saw that tweet about the KPIs a few hours ago, my first thought was Wells Fargo and the fraud that happened there to hit their KPIs [1]. I genuinely hadn't expected to hear about money laundering at Revolut just a few hours later... maybe I should have.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wells_Fargo_account_fraud_scan...


Hmm... I've been #6000 or so on their waitlist for a card here in Australia for the past 9 months. I've emailed them a couple of time but just been told "be patient". Apparently I can skip 5000 ahead in the the line by referring a friend to their service - however the sheer length of delay and these recent incidents have motivated me to simply cancel my wait for their service.

Perhaps I should check the wait list count again to see if they have had a swathe of cancellations lately? Then again, I am half convinced this is just a made up wait counter to increase the FOMO factor.

EDIT: I am actually #9750 on the wait list, and can bump myself up 6610 places with a referral. About the same as 9 months ago.


Did they make you commit anything apart from an email address for your spot in the "waitlist"?

I'm guessing that their waitlist is nothing more than a low-effort MVP to convince a regulatory body that the residents of a country want their service there.


I believe it was just name and email to register interest. Haven't filled in any additional application or financial details as far as I can remember (it was so long ago now that I applied).


Getting a license to take deposits in Australia isn't easy. And then there was the banking royal commission which isn't going to speed things up.

If you are after this sort of thing, have a look at Up


I ended up signing with Xinja. There was a wait period there too, but I think it was no more than a month for them to sort out the regulatory approval to be a 'bank' and send a card out to me. Probably easier for them being an AU based company.


I ditched Revolut last year and moved to Starling, pretty much entirely because I was sick of them trying to fucking sell me stuff in a "banking app" (they weren't a registered bank at the time, AFAIK). It became near impossible to actually use their app due to the amount of marketing horseshit being rammed through it, so I left, moved to Starling (which is fantastic) and I'll never go back.

In fact Starling has been so good that I've largely left my existing bank for them.


>I ditched Revolut last year and moved to Starling, pretty much entirely because I was sick of them trying to fucking sell me stuff in a "banking app" (they weren't a registered bank at the time, AFAIK)

It is a common mis-conception to assume Revolut and Starling are the same. Revolut and Monzo probably have more in common i.e. they both started out getting crowdfunded as pre-paid cards. Monzo acquired a banking licence and migrated their customers over to their banking product. Revolut only acquired the licence, at the end of last year [1]. It has yet to offer a banking product.

Starling was built from the ground up as a challenger bank.

[1] https://blog.revolut.com/we-got-a-banking-licence/


Monzo has had a banking license from the PRA and FCA in the UK since April 2017:

https://monzo.com/blog/2018/06/07/is-monzo-a-bank/

Revolut has been licensed in Lithuania in December 2018:

https://blog.revolut.com/we-got-a-banking-licence/

Big difference :)

Disclaimer: I work for Monzo.


> Starling

Seems to be UK only :/


There was supposed to be an expansion to Ireland but it seems that it is seriously delayed.



I don't like how aggressively Revolut tries to up sell you its premium service. Revolut's metal card seems more like a status symbol and the service seems secondary.

Additionally they still have no accounts where I am resulting in IBAN fees.

In contrast transferwise may not support "crypto" (Revolut doesn't let you send out or in crypto making it more or less useless) but they are not trying to up sell you and they do have accounts in my country allowing for fast transfers. They don't have fancy metal cards but they have been expanding their services instead.


Revolut, N26 and Monzo all have premium accounts with metal cards which are nothing than a status symbol. The banking industry has been doing this for years though with premium credit cards, so it's nothing new.


I don’t think it’s true that Monzo has a metal card.


You're correct, it does not. AFAIK Monzo does not have any paid tier accounts either.


The closest monzo has is an investor card for crowdfunding investors.


If we're talking metal cards by new-age pseudo-banks, there's also Crypto.com's MCO card.

I have one, and aside from how it's practically useless because I can't top up fiat into it (I currently have to do SGD>EUR>BTC>SGD just to use the card), it's also heavy.

Maybe I'm just the type of customer that they're not targeting.


> Revolut doesn't let you send out or in crypto making it more or less useless

Do you have a link for that?


Blog post just out stating that resignation not related.

https://blog.revolut.com/let-me-sec-the-record-straight/


Top comment on that post:

"I hope your KPI isn't tied to effectively running the company because I'd say your performance rating is "significantly below expectations" and we both know what that means."

Oof.


>This roll-out did not result in a money-laundering breach At no point during this time did we fail to meet our legal or regulatory requirements. We conducted a thorough review of all transactions that were processed during this time, which confirmed that there were no breaches. Unfortunately, this fact was not included in the original news story. This roll-out did not result in a breach of any sanctions or money laundering laws and requirements - so we did not send a formal notification to the regulator.

Maybe they should have notified the regulator. But knowing how he drives his staff I reluctantly understand where he's coming from.


so hard to read that text


A recruiter for Revolut approached me a couple of months about a Head of Credit Risk role... After reading about their culture, it was obvious what the career trajectory would be:

- three months of being pushed to lend lots, regardless of what the nonexistent risk models say, while not being allowed to set up a Collections team with real people

- three months of watching helplessly as a wave of bad accounts roll through the delinquency buckets to writeoff

- fired

No thanks...


This is the kind of thing you institute culturally and don’t put into writing explicitly. Weird that he did the latter. Can’t imagine doing that.


Sounds like a bad place to work. Wired has a dark take:

https://www.wired.co.uk/article/revolut-trade-unions-labour-...


I desperately want a Revolut account. I've been following them for the past year and a half and they still only support EU countries.

They keep mentioning that they will launch for citizens of non-EU countries but I've yet to see it happen. Does anyone know more about this?


Money laundering is totally OK as long as you do it on a large enough scale /s: https://www.ft.com/content/527fe170-3b79-11e9-b72b-2c7f526ca...


Are you a drug Dealer dude? JK


I sell potatoes on an .onion site.

They are high quality potatoes.

You want some?

One for two - special price for you!


Money laundering in traditional banking?!?! I thought that only happened in cryptocurrency!


Who has ever said that? Bloody strawman if ever I saw one.

HSBC in Mexico, for example: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-18880269


> Money laundering in traditional banking?!?! I thought that only happened in cryptocurrency!

From my reading there was no evidence of any money laundering having taken place. But yes money laundering has habitually happened in the traditional banking system. Personally I think the banks get a lot more flack than is warranted. There have been some really obvious cases but criminals are generally are usually one step ahead of any measures prevention measures. And as a retail client provided I'm not losing my money I don't mind what other clients they have on their books. If regulators do than they're free to punish any offending banks as they see fit.


> And as a retail client provided I'm not losing my money I don't mind what other clients they have on their books.

You loose time if you accidentally trip one of their anti laundering wires. And we all know time is money.

Edit: see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19280297


That's just what they want you to think


Not sure why I'm being downvoted. Banks are constantly making statements that cryptocurrencies are bad because they're used for laundering, fraud, and market manipulation, meanwhile the exact same thing has been happening with fiat, usually conducted by banks.


AML issues are no joke. If you look at even minor violations, the fines are huge.


Crazy how a company can just fall apart and unravel in a week.


The sad thing is that the CEO is still there.


A company with ties to Putins oligarchy involved in money laundering? How shocking. /s

Facts: CEO's father is a deputy director Gazprom, and one of the investors is Yuri Milner, who the paradise papers outed for channeling Kremlin cash in to tech co's.


[flagged]


Is it not possible that this person just disagreed with your logic, conclusion, or both, and did not want to comment? I find this to be a quite cynical and paranoid take on being downvoted in this case.


So we just go around downvoting comments we don't agree with?

Paranoid? Really?

Edit: Also, I asked dude to explain to me. He/she is free to do so, I was genuinely curious. But also, yes, I am cynical when it comes to the Russian mob. I mean government.


> So we just go around downvoting comments we don't agree with?

Is this that surprising at all? Discussions about this have been on reddit for years. This is the internet. No one owes anyone a civil argument or even a response, and a lot of bad faith actors are out there.

> Paranoid? Really?

Yes. I would categorize a comment that claims a lack of response by someone who downvoted you is assumed to be paid by Russians as paranoid.

EDIT: I'm not quite sure how seriously to take this exchange considering you both deleted the comment I was referring to in addition to responding on a comment I made on a post over a week ago on a completely unrelated topic.


I didn't delete anything. Quit the drama.


also CEO of Revolut: "Why aren’t you working on weekends?" https://twitter.com/phillipcaudell/status/110108122935141580...


Why would anyone work for a company like this? You startup folk are much better than this! Thankfully this person pushed back.

Why would you ever put up with something like this? I would laugh at the recruiter or manager if I was asked to do something like this. It’s akin to that door to door knife company that takes advantage of college kids.

There was a wired article in the twitter link you provided.

>She did a 30-minute job interview over Google Hangouts with the London-based head of business development, Andrius Biceika, and was immediately told she had passed to the next round, which would involve a small test. “The surprise came when I received the task and it asked me to get the company as many clients as possible, with each one depositing €10 into the app,” says Laura.

The instructions on the exercise said the applicants should recruit at least 200 clients in a week to have a chance at passing to the next interview phase. The task’s description didn’t guarantee that reaching the target would automatically qualify applicants for a job, but did advise them on a number of ways they could get clients, such as sharing a “promo code” with their friends, sharing it on social media, and posting promotional flyers on university campuses.

After Laura wrote back refusing to do the task and saying she was disappointed that the company would “take advantage of someone that is looking for a job”, Biceika emailed her saying she was the only candidate out of over 350 that had complained about the task. “Apologies you're not up to show what you're capable of,” he wrote in the email.


> “Apologies you're not up to show what you're capable of,” he wrote in the email.

It sounds like Laura showed what's she's capable of: standing up to abusive employers. It's a shame she was the only one.


She wasn't the only one. I'd guess more than half of them will not have done the task. Saying "you were the only one not doing it" is a way to lure her into eventually doing the task even though she initially decided against it by building up "imaginary peer pressure". And even better: if she has second thoughts and decides to do it, she just gave them a nice argumentative path to "decide" against her later anyway - after all, she did hesitate at first "to fully live up to her potential"...


She probably wasn't the only one, either. Con artists lie about everything.


Isn't that illegal in the UK without compensation?


It is completely legal in the UK without any compensation. I saw companies adding clauses in their contract of 'and you agree to work overtime without any pay' by default and claiming 'it is our standard template, no one complained before you' when confronted about it. Once you agree to such contract, they pretty much own your time.


> It is completely legal in the UK without any compensation.

This isn't strictly true.

The Working Time Directive provides you the right to work no more than 48 hours a week.

It is possible in the UK to opt out of the Working Time Directive, but it is not mandatory. You cannot be forced to do so.

So whilst a UK company can legally add a clause that says "you agree to work overtime without any pay", they cannot force you to work that overtime unless you have agreed to opt-out. A company that doesn't hire you because you refuse to opt-out is breaking the law.

https://www.gov.uk/maximum-weekly-working-hours


>> A company that doesn't hire you because you refuse to opt-out is breaking the law.

I'm nearly certain you are wrong on this point. A company definitely cannot fire you or mistreat you for not agreeing to the clause, but there's literally nothing in that page that you sent that would say it's illegal to not hire somebody just because they don't agree to the opt out.


> A company that doesn't hire you because you refuse to opt-out is breaking the law.

Unless the company does something bafflingly stupid, though, there's likely no way to prove that's what happened.


Guess what, opting out is there 'by default' too.


I've got one of those. The one time it's come up, in relation to out-of-hours support, I made it clear that there are plenty of other jobs. So the arrangement is that I agree to do any overtime that the company requires, free of charge, providing they don't ask me to do any. In the meantime, if there's an emergency I'll do my best. And we get along quite nicely.


They kind of are getting compensated (the job offer), I think the issue is if the applicant didn't divulge to their 'friends' that they were getting a job on the back of it. Not sure if applicants would be classed as employees in this context though.


>Why would anyone work for a company like this?

For a sufficient amount of money I would do it. But it would be a LOT.


"They are telling this of Lord Beaverbrook and a visiting Yankee actress. In a game of hypothetical questions, Beaverbrook asked the lady: ‘Would you live with a stranger if he paid you one million pounds?’ She said she would. ‘And if be paid you five pounds?’ The irate lady fumed: ‘Five pounds. What do you think I am?’ Beaverbrook replied: ‘We’ve already established that. Now we are trying to determine the degree."


What the hell, is that even legal?


It is, if you agree to do it. In current version of capitalism, person applying for a job has almost no rights except perhaps GDPR.


Wow... I'm genuinely shocked at the at the 27 GET IT DONE clicks. I mean this probably worked for that one weekend and until people got their bonus, but I bet you the moment the people had their bonus they would leave. It's a good sprint strategy but costs you talent and talent hiring in the long run.


If you look more carefully, the icon actually says "GET SH*T DONE". Somehow a little more apt given the current headlines.


"GET SHIT DONE" has been their company mantra for years. They have it on their office walls.


To be honest the banking industry has a very long history of building superb, over-engineered systems that are meant to sustain a nuclear strike, though in practice are down once a week, delivered 5 years late, and never fit for purpose.


Spot on! How much productivity is lost due to turnover and re-hiring?


In many companies, executive management puts more trust in the HR management than other sectors of the org. I speculate it’s for a number of reasons: HR is often the most easily subverted department, needing far less objectivity than departments related to brass tacks product development, IT, customer service, etc. So HR can most easily be a yes-man that executives like to hear from. Also while there certainly are domain-specific properties of HR work that require training and experience, there are also relatively more things handled in HR that are understandable to a layperson with no specialized knowledge in that space, perhaps inviting executives to feel like they are contributing more directly when engaging with HR.

Whatever the causes might be, one big effect is that HR usually gets to spin stories about turnover and recruiting to create perceptions such as

- nobody could possibly have done anything to prevent a critical employee from leaving

- despite some critical person leaving, nobody did anything wrong and if they hired the same person again they should handle everything the same way.

- there are just not enough candidates (to disguise the real issue that compensation and benefits are not competitive)

- the employee we need has to be open-minded, but we’re only seeing dogmatic people in the pipeline and/or the ubiquitous “not a good culture fit” feedback, to disguise the problem that the company itself is dogmatic and closed-minded, and candidates react to perceived dogmatic culture by turning down interviews or offers.

And many more.

In other words, HR will spin the situation to say that no productivity is lost to turnover, that nothing could have been done to maintain that productivity, and that whatever happens is never due to misaligned compensation or management failures, it’s just an unchangeable cost of doing business.


I suspect you're right. Sadly.


“Doesn’t matter those people weren’t committed enough so we’re better off without them.” Yes, some people actually use that justification.


What worries me is that in some cases it takes years until something makes them see how ridiculous of a conclusion this is.

Or even worse: sometimes that doesn't happen at all.


Should there be some kind of “shit list” or “toxic list” for tech companies? Admittedly, public shaming & blaming is tricky if you don’t know the context, and faking a Slack screenshot is trivial (not saying the one here is fake).

I guess Glassdoor is as close as it gets now, together with leaks on Twitter posted by the parent.


Revolut FYI has a 4.2 rating on Glassdoor.

One of the problems with Glassdoor is availability bias - it selects in the people who have been around at companies like this for a while and/or thrive in this kind of culture and selects out people who take one look at a company culture like this and leave within a week.


There used to be a thing called "Fucked Company" - ran by a guy named Pud..


Seems a pretty toxic place to work [1]. And toxic recruitment policy of requiring them to acquire 200 customers as part of the recruitment process.

[1] https://www.wired.co.uk/article/revolut-trade-unions-labour-...


"The instructions on the exercise said the applicants should recruit at least 200 clients in a week to have a chance at passing to the next interview phase."

Wow, disgusting.


Damn... very disapointing considering how cool their product is. Monzo is better anyway, and the best bank app on the market, and I’ve heard it’s a cool place to work at. Just wish they would be faster to come to the US.


To be fair you have Simple Bank and Qapital in the US if you're looking for Monzolikes


They are only for UScitizens. Not for other permanent residents. They are nothing to compare with Monzo either.


Wow, don't expect any revolutionary products out of a company with such a hostile working environment.

I also completely lost any trust that this company can safely deal with my money and private data securely.

Absolutely disgusting.


Their product is pretty revolutionnary. Monzo is way better though.


I honestly love Revolut’s product (never tried Monzo bc I’m not UK based).


Shithole move, I would rather live in the a shed in the woods than work for a person like that. I would make it official on the slack as well.


he 's just trying to fit in to the whole "finance" ecosystem


I thought that was more about snorting cocaine off the backside of a stripper.


It looks like a managing politics seems very similar to the gulag in XX century. East Europe people have often tendencies to manage that way.


This kind of bullshit goes hand in hand with current interview practices. I am done with this.


I really don't see a problem with this. It's not the "working on weekends" that's the issue, it's KPIs. If you promise something, deliver it. If you don't think you can, don't promise it!


This assumes the KPIs were created and "promised" by those responsible for them rather than handed down from above. Which seems unlikely given everything else I've read about this company.


There's a breed of execs out there that go: "Bring [metric] [up|down] [X%] by next [quarter|year]" without the slightest notion of if/how it could get done. And a number of them don't take any variation of "we need to negotiate that" for an answer.


If the CEO sets the KPI, and the KPI is not achieveable, does that mean he should fire himself for not meeting expectations? He failed at his job, after all.


Ideally, employees/managers would push back when KPIs are set


How do you imagine that push back would be taken given what we know about this company?


In an ideal world where all facts are known before hand, yes. In a fast moving startup with toxic management? Good luck.


But who is promising it? It's not like the individuals that work in the teams tasked to work on the weekends is the same individuals that promise these KPI-numbers?

Even so, can you really claim that they are not pushed towards nearly impossible goals? It's very common to not reach a goal for a gazillion of reasons, forcing people to work weekends while you yourself get all the money from it is being an asshat.


KPIs are an ultimatum not a promise.


Who gets to set their own KPIs? I've never known a company where this is the case.



The article summarizes much more original research from the Telegraph: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2019/02/28/revolut-fa...

Alas, that is behind a paywall.


Telegraph article

ONE of the UK’s most promising financial technology start-ups has been accused of violating basic banking rules by failing to block thousands of potentially suspicious transactions on its platform.

Documents seen by The Daily Telegraph show that for three months last year Revolut switched off an automated system designed to stop dubious money transfers.

As a result, thousands of illegal transactions may have passed through the London-based start-up’s digital banking system between July and September of 2018.

Revolut launched an internal investigation in late 2018 after a whistleblower contacted Revolut’s board about serious issues with its sanctions screening system.

In a letter to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in September 2018, Revolut’s head of legal Tom Hambrett wrote: “The investigation concluded that the original decision to turn off the transaction-halting mechanism was erroneous and implied a remediable systems and controls failing.”

Sanctions screening systems automatically check customer records against an official list to identify highrisk transactions and those flagged as “politically exposed persons”.

Revolut, which has grown to over 3m customers around the world since its launch in 2015, contacted the Financial Conduct Authority in September to inform the watchdog of a three-month “failing”, The Telegraph can reveal.

It told the FCA that it had disabled part of its sanctions screening system after it made 8,000 “false positive” flags, incorrectly identifying legitimate transactions as being suspicious and blocking transfers. The company then moved to a compliance system that flagged transactions but did not automatically disable them, Revolut said.

The problems at Revolut follow a string of regulatory issues at other so-called “challenger banks”. Metro Bank was forced to announced plans to raise £350m from investors this week after revealing that it had underestimated the risk level of some of its commercial loans. Metro Bank’s shares fell a further 27pc yesterday after tumbling 16pc on Tuesday as the extent of its issues became clear.

The FCA was only informed of the problems at Revolut after an employee complained to the board about the switch and the fact it did not automatically block suspicious transactions.

The company reactivated its sanctions screening system on Sept 16, Revolut told the FCA.

Revolut told the watchdog it did not believe that it had broken the law during its switch to a different compliance system. “To the best of Revolut’s knowledge there has been no breach of law with respect to sanctions requirements,” the company wrote.

The digital bank has since introduced a new system following the incident last year, it said in the letter.

However, the incident raises questions over Revolut’s ability to stop individuals and companies who are hit by international sanctions from using its app. It follows a report by the bank to the FCA and National Crime Agency last year in which it warned both organisations of suspected money laundering through its app.

The digital bank has suffered a number of departures from its compliance team in the past two years, including two chief risk officers, the chief compliance officer, and two money laundering reporting officers.

A spokesman for the FCA declined to comment. A Revolut spokesman said: “Revolut does not comment on its engagement with its regulators.”


> The FCA was only informed of the problems at Revolut after an employee complained to the board about the switch and the fact it did not automatically block suspicious transactions.

Yikes. This makes me think management was being less than truthful with the board. Thats a recipe for a disaster.


Both the HN article and your link appear to be behind paywalls, unfortunately.


[flagged]


Teach us, O wise one.


Use private mode, outline.com, archive.is, fake a google/facebook/twitter referrer, disable javascript, google cache, remove your cookies, etc



Revolut has offices in these locations as well:

Kraków, PL 1 Stanisława Klimeckiego

Moskva, RU Nizhniy Susalnyy pereulok

How likely are these locations likely to cooperate to say a DOJ investigation? Especially the one in Moscow out of all places....


I'm not sure where you are from, but it sounds really ignorant to put two completely different countries in the same bag. I don't even know why DOJ would need to be involved, but if that ever happens Poland is likely to comply as a member of NATO with vested interest in maintaining a good relationship with the US [1].

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poland%E2%80%93United_States_r...


Not sure where you got the idea that I confused Poland with Russia. I just copy pasted from their website LMAO


Anti-money laundering regulations are completely crazy these days.

I recently opened a child bank account (in the UK) and the application form had one page for parents and child's details then 5 pages related to money laundering...

Edit: here we are... Send in the immature downvotes.


I actually lost my business account with HSBC over these new regulations (UK again). They asked me for additional information to identify myself and apparently the evidence I provided wasn't adequate, so they closed my account at very short notice. This having been a personal customer of theirs for 20 years and a business customer for 7.

Thankfully I got everything moved over to Lloyds and I couldn't be happier with their service.


Blame the banks then. The regulations are only like this since the banks have consistently and deliberately facilitated money laundering.


Banks' business is to manage money not to turn money away...

It's not unethical behaviour. It's simple business. No-one in any business is going to ask where their customers got their money from, you just try to make customers spend their cash on you rather than a competitor.

Banks have to comply with the law, of course, but beyond that you cannot expect them to hurt their business for no reason. This "holier than thou" attitude is hypocrisy, frankly.


If you truly don't understand why there are anti money laundering laws I suggest you go commit some crimes for large financial gain and then figure out what the hell to do with the money such that you can use it.


There's clearly two schools of thought debating here. One is that there should be a presumption of innocence, and the other is that there should be random warrantless checkpoints everywhere to catch the bad guys.


It's not even a debate at this point. Been settled for a while now.


You are right. The random checkpoint and interrogation proponents have been in charge for some time now. And it looks like it's going to get a lot worse before it hopefully gets better.


That's the not the point of the thread you're replying to.

Someone claimed that it was the bank's fault because they did nothing to prevent money laundering. Why would they if they are not forced to? When you run a business you do not turn customers away, especially they they want to give you plenty of cash... It's naive or hypocritical to claim otherwise.


I feel like you're missing the circular logic of your argument. The laws are crazy because banks will not self regulate. They openly allow illicit funds, so rules need to be applied to stem the source.

None is blaming them for accepting funds from anyone that they come across, but there should be no confusion as to why the rules exist: because the banks will indiscriminately allow the transfer of funds from illegitimate sources.

With that in mind, the rules are crazy, because the banks don't care.


Nothing circular in my argument. I feel you're wilfully ignoring what I wrote.


Nope. Please explain what point you are trying to make. None gets it


Ok.


White collar crime continues to be something that they can get away with. IMHO the solution is not more rules but simply applying existing laws less leniently. There are a lot of bank executives that are not nearly worried enough about going to jail.


So banks operate a bit like open proxies on the internet (actually they are much more responsible). The administrators should go to jail then?


...and to comply with the law. The law that was created in response to their unethical behavior.


unfortunately for us, reasonable people, there is no such thing for banks (and businesses in general) as "unethical behavior" when it comes to money. their responsibility is to increase shareholders' (or clients') value.

they must comply with the law and often they don't or they devise clever workarounds, abusing judicial loopholes, and sometimes they get caught and then sometimes some scape-goat might end up in jail for couple years.

until we see a mass execution^W^W real punishment of top management of all of large banks on this planet - nothing will change in the foreseeable future.


>when it comes to money. their responsibility is to increase shareholders' (or clients') value.

That is not an empirical fact. It's a specific interpretation of how things should be in the world. Some see it that way and other see it differently.


It’s an interpretation of how things are. And unfortunately “let’s ostracize those who don’t behave ethically” doesn’t seem to be a scary enough stick if you consider that those banks have far more business with individuals that acquired their wealth in illegal ways and give zero shits about ethics.


If anything, anti-money laundering regulations are not even nearly enough


I kinda agree but money laundering is a big problem too.


The onus is on legislators to craft anti-laundering regulations that work while minimizing false positives. I wonder if those 5 pages of forms actually negatively impacted any criminal activity.


If anybody was serious about tackling the money laundering problem, the corporate death penalty should have been applied to HSBC ten years ago. And its assets broken up and parceled out to more ethical banks.


Somewhat off topic, but I’ve always thought of money laundering as kind of a “lame” crime: it’s what the government charges you with when you seem suspicious but it can’t figure out what you did.


Uhh no, the US money laundering statute requires a) that the money involved be the proceeds of specific criminal activities, and b) that the financial transactions be _knowingly_ used to disguise the origins and ownership of money.

It's used to punish people who are working to disguise serious crimes, principally the mob.


In the UK, which is where Revolut is, in order to be convicted of money laundering you merely need to be charged with money laundering, and then fail to convince a court that you are innocent of money laundering. It's one of the few crimes where you're guilty until proven innocent.


It can be easier to catch the big fish for their lame but documented crimes, rather than prove the big conspiracy they're running. Al Capone was convicted for tax evasion after all.


Agreed. Depositors should not have to explain anything or answer any questions about their money, where it comes from, where it's going, or what it's for unless and until some specific, evidence backed allegation of wrong doing is made. KYC/AML as currently practiced is wrong and immoral in my opinion, and should be completely scrapped.


Exactly. Banks have more detailed info on us than Facebook,. Meanwhile, we are all treated like potential criminals. I understand that sometimes anti-money laundering regulations are necessary, but these days it seems like the're too invasive.


well, the itunes ToS says you can't use it to develop nuclear weapons, or in north korea, so...


There's always crypto ...


check out wirex. it is bank / crypto application


If you are looking for an alternative, I'd recommend checking out Eversend. (Disclosure, my GF is a co-founder). Much smaller company, but trying to grow it right (malmo FastTrack, Berlin tech starts, ...


"It follows a report by the bank to the FCA and National Crime Agency last year in which it warned both organisations of suspected money laundering through its app.

The digital bank has suffered a number of departures from its compliance team in the past two years, including two chief risk officers, the chief compliance officer, and two money laundering reporting officers."

I don't believe the Russian CEO could be involved in, complicit in, or just turning a blind eye to, laundering, in any way whatsoever, so clearly this was just a stupid decision entirely on the part of the CFO to turn off the monitors due to their excessive chatter.


"I don't believe the Russian CEO could be involved in, complicit in, or just turning a blind eye to, laundering, in any way whatsoever, so clearly this was just a stupid decision entirely on the part of the CFO to turn off the monitors due to their excessive chatter."

Oh, why couldn't you possibly believe this?


Hilarious that my only two comments I ever remember being downvoted on HN are for calling out this companies ties to people who launder money and evade taxes.


If I had to guess, parent is sarcastic.


He is the son of a senior Gazprom figure. Just saying.


Satire is a difficult thing, both on the internet and off. But especially on :-D . Still, I'm sure many people noted the irony in your original comment, and still didn't like it. Being Russian shouldn't really qualify for suspicion, on it's own.


Indeed, I should have said "CEO who has connections to the Russian oligarchy". I have nothing against Russians as such.




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