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For the Digital Bank at the Centre of a Media Storm This Week … You OK Hun?

By Matthew Dove

Nikolay Storonsky and his colleagues at Revolut have been “setting the record straight” again today, this time being forced to deny that the company is under investigation for fraud.

The speculation – which involves a complaint made to Action Fraud over a missing payment – follows news that the bank is being probed by the FCA over lapses in AML protocols. Revolut has also found itself subject to criticism from former employees who assert the challenger has fostered a toxic corporate culture.

Details of an alleged fraud investigation by the City of London Police were published and then withdrawn by the FT and a host of other online news sites. These accounts appear to have been based on a complaint made to Action Fraud by the husband of a Revolut business account holder who claims that his wife hasn’t received a payment of 73,515 GBP which is owed to her.

“There is no investigation into fraud at Revolut” – Revolut spokesman

Action Fraud is said to be tracking the payment and making an assessment of whether any criminal activity has taken place. Only at the conclusion of this assessment, which could take days or weeks, will a recommendation for official police investigation potentially be made.

In a statement to the Press Association, a spokesman from Revolut said;

“There is no investigation into fraud at Revolut. One of our customers registered a complaint after funds did not reach their account because incorrect details were entered during the payment stage. Our team have proactively engaged with both the customer and our payments partners to resolve the case and to ensure that the funds were located. We understand that the customer escalated his dissatisfaction to the police authorities by submitting a non-fraud complaint via the action fraud portal – this organisation has no police investigatory powers.”

Regardless of the veracity of the complaint, a dark cloud certainly seems to be stalking the challenger. As well as coming under fire from former employees, the company’s attempt at a humorous Valentine’s Day ad campaign (in which customers who’d ordered takeaway-for-one on the 14th were asked, “you OK hun?”) was met with accusations of single-shaming. This unpleasantness was followed by reports last week of the FCA’s interest in Revolut’s practices, which, in turn, coincided uncomfortably with the resignation of the bank’s CFO Peter O’Higgins. However, if anyone can weather the storm it’s Storonsky. He began his career at Lehman Brothers after all…

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