British digital bank Monzo to announce imminent U.S. launch: source

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LONDON (Reuters) – Fast-growing British digital bank Monzo is set to announce on Thursday its imminent launch in the United States, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The bank did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Since its launch in 2015, Monzo has signed up more than 2 million customers in Britain, lured by its signature coral pink debit card and promise of slicker customer service than traditional banks.

Monzo is one of a range of so-called neobanks that have launched in Britain in recent years, joining a worldwide trend for digital-only banks that eschew traditional branch networks.

The new bank has seen rapid success in winning customers from the six large incumbent banks such as Lloyds and RBS that dominate the market, although many customers have yet to switch their monthly pay cheques to Monzo.

The prize if Monzo succeeds in the United States’ $7 trillion financial services sector is potentially huge, but banking experts say it will face a tough task.

“For UK fintechs looking to fly the nest, one major contrast will be the complexity of federal- and state-level laws, compared to the UK’s fintech-friendly regulatory environment,” said Richard Lumb, group chief executive for financial services at consulting firm Accenture.

Reporting by Lawrence White and Iain Withers; editing by Sinead Cruise and Mark Potter

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