Dutch challenger bunq, which offers a range of different personal and business digital-first banking services, is celebrating its first quarterly profit.
During the final quarter of last year, the challenger’s net fee income experienced year-on-year growth of 37 per cent, compared to Q4’22, seeing user deposits also increase during this time by 64 per cent to €1.8billion at the end of 2022. Bunq reported break-even for the first time at the end of December 2021.
The challenger’s first quarterly profit will fuel the fintech’s further growth and expansion, contributing to building the first global neobank for location-independent people and businesses.
“I’m incredibly proud that, just a decade since our inception, bunq’s service-oriented business model has proven to be profitable,” says Ali Niknam, founder and CEO of bunq.
“Aligning our user-centred philosophy with financial success, we were able to build a business that’s only successful as long as our users are happy.”
Founded in 2012, the challenger operates under a full European banking license issued by the Dutch National Bank (DNB). Niknam has subsequently spent the last decade developing the bank’s image and offerings, including the launch of its open API and a gradual launch across the European continent; funded through €98.7million of the founder’s own capital.
Bunq debuted its fourth large-scale update last year as a means to assist its growing customer base with mitigating the impact of rising inflation. In this way, the update, called ‘Update 21’, introduced features including easy budgeting, group expenses and in-app widgets.
Around the same time, the challenger also settled an ongoing case with the DNB, which initially questioned the adequacy of the bank’s anti-money laundering (AML) screening methods for its private customers. While the DNB raised concerns over the process’s dependency on in-app evaluation, bunq ultimately explained how its application of artificial intelligence in this area was ensuring its compliance with AML rules.
The case then came to a head when the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) ruled in favour of bunq and against the DNB, deciding that the plaintiff had failed to demonstrate the inadequacy of the challenger’s screening methods.
As evidenced by its latest profits, bunq is only heading in one direction, and its continued upward trajectory is being bolstered through a string of new acquisitions, including that of the group expenses management app Tricount, and the introduction of new investment propositions.
With the wind in its sails, the fintech unicorn’s position in the future of digital banking is looking stronger than ever.