CITY WHISPERS: Is Revolut still banking on its licence any time soon? Not that anyone’s counting
Not that anyone’s counting, but it’s nearly a fortnight since Revolut said it could receive a UK banking licence ‘any day now’.
‘Imminently’ was another word used when the company unveiled its first profit on March 1. Whispers understands that the official go-ahead from regulators will be, at the earliest, this week and it could drag on longer.
The £28 billion firm has been trying to bag a licence for more than two years, so maybe a few days (or even weeks) longer won’t hurt.
Banking on it: Revolut has been trying to bag a licence for more than two years, so maybe a few days (or even weeks) longer won’t hurt
But it could be another knock to Revolut’s reputation, especially after the results were accompanied by disclosures about troubles with its IT systems.
These meant that auditors struggled to work out which parts of the business its revenues came from in 2021.
Revolut says the issues were fixed in the same year and won’t be a problem again.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid overpromising, especially if it’s regulators who have the final say.
Advent International on hunt for more takeovers
Hide your manufacturing firms: word on the street is that US private equity vulture Advent International is on the hunt for more engineering and aerospace takeovers.
While a deal to buy Laird in 2018 barely raised eyebrows, the pounce on Cobham in 2019 drew criticism and a 2021 bid for strategically important Ultra Electronics saw a monumental backlash.
There are few defence firms left on Advent’s favoured FTSE 250 index. But when has a little issue like that ever put off a private equity giant?
Smith & Nephew hard way that money talks
Smith & Nephew has learned the hard way that – when it comes to attracting and keeping your CEOs – money talks.
The artificial hip and knee-maker was stung in 2018 when then chief executive Namal Nawana quit after 18 months, reportedly because he wanted a package in line with American rivals.
But last week the FTSE 100 firm’s annual report revealed new boss Deepak Nath pocketed more than £5 million in 2022. Some £3.5 million of it was a golden hello as Smith & Nephew bought out the value of shares he forfeited when he left Siemens Healthineers.
Nath made more in eight months than the £4.7 million his predecessor Roland Diggelmann took home across his entire tenure spanning 29 months.
Real slog for new home at Purplebricks
Online estate agency Purplebricks knows better than most that it can be a real slog looking for a new home.
The struggling group put itself up for sale a couple of weeks ago and, in an encouraging start, said it had already attracted approaches from several potential buyers.
But Whispers hears some City folk are speculating it could face a hurdle in the form of a Financial Conduct Authority fine hanging over its head.
The key difficulty is that the fine is ‘unquantified’, so bosses have no idea whether it will be tiny or huge, making it tricky for any potential buyers.
Word is, the fine is for not fully complying with strict rules on money laundering. Purplebricks declined to comment.