Revolut mulls auditor switch as banking licence decision looms

Simon Hunt6 days ago

London fintech giant Revolut has been considering switching auditors after its last annual accounts were only signed off with a health warning, the Standard understands. 

BDO’s audit report in March included a note in which it flagged concerns about the “completeness and occurrence” of £477 million of the debit card provider’s revenues. The accounting firm warned that revenues “may be materially misstated”, citing IT controls issues. 

Executives at Revolut were furious at the audit qualification and media coverage of BDO’s remarks, going as far as to instruct lawyers Schillings in a bid to change the Financial Times’ reporting of it, according to the newspaper.

Sources have told the Standard that execs have since begun to explore options for dropping BDO in favour of a new auditor, although the company is understood to be sticking with BDO at least until the end of its 2023 financial year. 

Revolut’s official statement on the audit report was that it “confirmed that the financial statements give a true and fair view” but it would not comment on whether it will switch to a new auditor.

In September, the firm was granted an extension to file its annual report with Companies House for the second year running.

The London-based business is one of the UK’s fastest-growing and most valuable fintech firms, attracting a peak valuation of $33 billion in a 2021 funding round. It has hired more than 1,700 staff this year despite scores of layoffs among rivals.

Revolut, which was founded in 2015, has been waiting for a British banking licence since 2021. After completing a share restructure with lead investor SoftBank last month, a clean bill of health in the fintech’s future audit reports is thought to be the last remaining hurdle for securing its licence from the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulatory Authority.

Switching to a big-four auditor might also be thought to bolster the firm’s credentials ahead of a final decision by the FCA and the PRA.