After a survey conducted in the last months of last year, Bank of Italy blocked N26, forbidding them to welcome new customers. According to the Bank of Italy, the rules for anti-money laundering would not be enough. The digital bank, however, clarifies that for users who have already opened an account there are no problems. And that it will work to improve its offer.
Bank of Italy blocks N26, stop to new customers
With an official press release, the Bank of Italy has required the Italian branch of N26 Bank to welcome new customers. A measure concerning “new ongoing relationships or the carrying out of any operation “. And it also prohibits the digital bank from offering “new products and services to existing customers “, including crypto assets.
So no more new customers, or new services offered to existing customers. So much so that the Italian homepage of the digital bank reads “At the moment it is not possible to open new N26 accounts for customers resident in Italy. Subscribe to our waiting listwe will contact you to welcome you as soon as it is possible to open an N26 account again. “
A measure decided by the Bank of Italy. But why?
Deficiencies in anti-money laundering
According to what emerged from the checks carried out by our central bank, conducted between October 25th and December 17th last year, there are “significant deficiencies in compliance with anti-money laundering legislation.”
However, the Bank of Italy recognized the good intentions of N26 Bank to prevent the financial services it offers from ‘cleaning up’ money deriving from illegal activities. “N26 Bank has launched some initiatives to remedy these shortcomings. The Bank of Italy reserves the right to check that it has been fully exceeded of the anomalies found, also for the purposes of a review of the provision. “
The answer of N26
On the official website, N26 Bank responds by explaining that the ban will have no impact on the mobile bank’s customers. It also confirms that it is working for resolve the problems identified by the Bank of Italy.
The bank also explains that “In recent months N26 has already made significant investments in anti-money laundering, both globally and in relation to the Italian branch. Investments have led to significant advances in prevention anti-money laundering thanks to strengthening of dedicated staff to the structure, to the development IT infrastructure in support and models of machine learning as well as the strengthening of 24/7 transaction monitoring systems. “
However, the bank, founded in Berlin in 2013, recognizes the areas for improvement indicated by the Bank of Italy. And it invests to improve in this respect. Therefore it aims to be able to resume accepting new customers in Italy soon and to offer new services to current customers. We will keep you posted.