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Leading digital bank N26 withdraws from Brazil to focus on Europe

Leading digital bank N26 withdraws from Brazil to focus on Europe
Ana Zirojevic

Four years after announcing its plans to enter Brazil and seven months after it began testing but never fully launching its operations, German digital bank N26 said it was withdrawing from the Brazilian market, following the same course of action as it did in the United States and United Kingdom. 

Indeed, the online bank stated it was going to shutter its activities in the market during the next two months to divert its attention to continental Europe, two years after pulling out of the US and four years after abandoning the UK over Brexit-related obstacles, as per a press release on November 7.

According to the statement, N26’s decision to withdraw from Brazil, despite having tested the early versions of its Brazilian product with select customers via a waiting list from 2021, is part of its “strategy to focus on its core European markets as it further strengthens its position as Europe’s leading digital bank.”

Ditching global ambitions

As a reminder, back in 2019, the financial institution announced an expansion to the markets in Brazil in a bid to become a “truly global bank,” initiating its product test phase with a group of chosen clients from a waiting list in November 2021 but has never officially opened its doors to the general public.

That said, Europe’s leading digital bank with headquarters in Brazil and boasting a full German banking license said it would offer all of its Brazil-based employees an opportunity to apply for open positions in its offices in multiple cities across Europe “to support N26’s European business in the future.”

It is also worth noting that N26 gained traction in the cryptocurrency industry in October 2022 as one of the rare banking institutions to enter the crypto space and launch a crypto trading service through the crypto exchange Bitpanda, with Austria serving as the product’s initial market.

Earlier this year, N26 emerged as the third fastest-growing digital bank by the number of mobile app downloads for Android and iOS operating systems among leading digital banking service providers, with 1.89 million downloads in 2022, as Finbold reported in March.

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