Revolut, the UK’s most valuable fintech company, which has faced a series of controversies, has made its first annual profit, highly delayed accounts reveal.
The company has been hailed as a high-growth success story by leading UK politicians including Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, but he has also been criticized for late filing of accounts, as well as breaches of EU regulations and fines.
The allegations of a aggressive work environmentwhich he denied, have also come under scrutiny as the company scrambles to secure a valuable UK banking license.
The fintech, which aims to be the ‘Amazon of banking’ and cannot yet hold deposits or make loans to customers, made a profit of £26.3m in the year to date. in December 2021. The company’s revenue increased from £220 million in 2020 to £636 million in 2021.
Revolut did not set a deadline for receiving a UK banking license in the 2021 report, instead saying it was “at an advanced stage of applying” to UK regulators.
He added that revenue had topped £850m ($1bn) in the year to December 2022.
Chief Executive Officer Nik Storonsky said, “We achieved our first full year of profit and demonstrated that we can accelerate customer growth, at scale, and increase revenue across all of our product lines.
“In 2021, we obtained a full banking license from the European Central Bank and welcomed millions of new customers.”
Revolut’s accounts for the year ending December 2021 were due to be published on the UK commercial register, Companies House, in September last year. An extension until December was then also missed by the fintech.
The delay is said to have come after BDO, which has been Revolut’s auditor since 2018, was reprimanded by the accounting regulator for the ‘unacceptable’ quality of a series of company audits, which – according to the Financial Times – included Revolution.
The FT report claimed Revolut was the limited company behind the accounts which the Financial Reporting Council said suffered from an “inadequate” approach to how revenue was recognised.
This process appears to be referenced in Revolut’s 2021 annual report.
It says the FRC’s audit quality review team reviewed BDO’s assessment of Revolut’s December 2020 financial statements and “questions” were raised. An attempt to address these issues has been “integrated into the 2021 audit plan” and “changes have been made to the audit strategy and approach”.
As a result, senior Revolut executives who oversee its financial reporting have concluded that “the  the audit was effective and that none of the issues raised called into question the integrity of the financial statements for the previous year”.
Revolut declined to answer specific questions from the Guardian about its compliance employee turnover earlier this month. These staff ensure that companies comply with regulations, including those on sanctions and anti-money laundering.
However, in the 2021 report released on Wednesday, it said: “Last year we reported a significant expansion and improvement of our risk and compliance function in terms of people, processes, tools and infrastructure, which was commensurate with Revolut’s customer and business development.”
He added that he had increased his staff in this area from “147 to 206”.