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Derin Clark

Derin Clark

Online Reporter
Published: 12/02/2020

Challenger bank N26 has announced that it will close all its UK bank accounts on the 15 April this year as it leaves the UK market.

As part of its removal from the UK, the bank is no longer offering new bank accounts to those based in the UK. N26, which is a German-based bank, has stated that it is closing its UK accounts as, due to the UK leaving the European Union, it will no longer be able to operate here with its European banking licence.

What to do if you have an N26 account

The bank is advising customesr to withdraw or transfer their money from their N26 account and deposit it into an alternative bank account before the April closure deadline. Those who have a negative account balance should top up their balance before the account closes. In addition to this, customers need to ensure that alternative arrangements are made for any direct debits from the account or deposits, such as salaries, into the account are done before 15 April 2020.

Customers with a Metal account will not be covered by insurance after the account closes in April, and the last subscription payment will be made from the 14 March 2020, with the final month being free of charge.

N26 bank

While N26 did not match rivals such as Monzo and Revolut in terms of customers, it offered a fully digital banking service that allowed customers to open bank accounts and offered free Mastercards and free international ATM withdrawals, making it popular with younger banking customers. Along with its banking service, it also offered customers travel insurance and emergency medical cover.

The bank, founded in 2013, has over five million customers and operates in 24 countries outside the UK. While the bank will no longer operate in the UK, it will continue to operate in all other regions.

How normal are bank closures?

Bank closures, including those among challenger banks, are rare and the closure of N26 in the UK market is for political reasons rather than the bank failing due to economic conditions. Banks that operate in the UK usually have a UK licence, however EU banks are allowed to operate in the UK under a ‘passport’ licence scheme until the end of the Brexit transition period on 31 December 2020. Customers with deposits in banks that operate under a UK licence have up to £85,000 of their money protected under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. N26 operates under a German licence, which has a similar protection scheme for customers, and protects up to €100,000.

How your money is protected

For more information about the protection scheme, read our guide on depositor protection schemes.


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