Where finance and media intersect with reality

WW3 Watch: Fintech factors

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Inquiring minds want to know what’s what with Revolut, the British challenger bank with a reputation for saying “yes you can definitely have an account”.

Talk at a Polish City Club event last night flagged the prominent display of a pro Ukrainian graphic on Revolut’s Twitter account and the impassioned statement put out by founders:

Many people may already know that one of our co-founders is Ukrainian, but it may not be common knowledge that a number of our staff are based in Ukraine as well. Our number one concern is and always will be the safety of our colleagues, who we consider family.

Revolut may be a British company, but we’re deeply proud to employ people from all over the world, and that means when terrible things happen where our people live, we have a duty to do everything we can to support them.

Revolut, it would seem, is firmly committed to supporting the Ukrainian cause.

And yet — how can we put this diplomatically? — there are some problematic optics.

A quick aside first: The Blind Spot is launching subs very shortly. As soon as that happens and revenues allow we will immediately be looking to acquire some err… legal cover.

In the meantime here are some already reported facts presented Без комментариев:

  • Revolut was funded by Russian oligarch Yuri Milner.
  • Milner was funded by VTB and Alisher Usmanov, a Russian billionaire and personal friend of Vladimir Putin known for warehousing Kremlin assets.
  • Lithuanian regulators have believed for years that Revolut is close to the Kremlin.
  • The father of Revolut founder Nik Storonsky is Nikolay Mironovich Storonsky, deputy general director of science for Kremlin-controlled Gazprom Promgaz since 2017, and First Deputy General Director for Science Gazprom Promgaz OAO.
  • Revolut is now very busy on damage limitation PR.

As Herodotus would say, whether this latter account be true, or whether the matter happened otherwise, I shall not discuss further.

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