Anyone who goes to see the list of entities authorized to operate by Banco de Portugal will find the new branch in Portugal of Revolut. ECO found that the registration is a few months old, but is still inactive.
Asked about “Revolut Bank UAB – Branch in Portugal”, which is registered with a license of the type “branches of credit institutions headquartered in the European Union (EU)”, an official source from the banking supervisor confirmed the news: “The branch in Portugal of Revolut Bank UAB has been registered with the Bank of Portugal since 10 November 2022, and has not yet started its activity.”
The intention to set up this national branch had already been confirmed by the company itself, and this step brings it closer to that goal. In February, Ignacio Zunzunegui, responsible for Revolut's expansion strategy in Southern Europe, explained to ECO that the intention is to assign Portuguese customers an IBAN starting with "PT", given that, currently, Revolut's bank accounts in Portugal have foreign callsigns, such as “LT”, from Lithuania, where the official headquarters of Revolut bank in the EU is located.
Contacted again about the branch in Portugal, an official source at Revolut says that the company is still “working internally” to offer Portuguese IBANs “during this year”, but added that it cannot “provide a specific date at this time”. In February, the head of Revolut explained that one of the duties to which the digital bank will be subject is the need to provide a native customer support channel, with assistance in Portuguese (Revolut does not have physical branches).
ECO also questioned Banco de Portugal about other duties to which Revolut will be subject. An official source at the central bank said that the Portuguese branch will operate under a “community passport” and, therefore, “is not subject to the prudential supervision of the Bank of Portugal, but of the supervisory authority of the country of origin, Lithuania".
But that doesn’t mean it will escape the supervision of the entity led by Mário Centeno: “However, the branch is subject to supervision by the Bank of Portugal in matters of behaviour (consumer protection) and the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing” , adds the same official source.
As already foreseen, the Bank of Portugal also confirms that the deposits taken in Portugal by the Revolut Bank branch “are not guaranteed by the Portuguese Deposit Guarantee Fund, but subject to the deposit protection regime in force in Lithuania”.