London’s digital unicorn Monzo has appointed TS Anil to head U.S. operations as chief executive officer (CEO), Monzo said in a press release on Tuesday (Dec. 2).
Anil was the global head of payment products and platforms at Visa and will join Monzo in early 2020 to lead the U.S. team. He will report to Monzo CEO and co-founder Tom Blomfield.
Anil has over 25 years of experience in payments, credit cards and banking, working globally across Europe, the Middle East and Africa as well as Asia Pacific and the Americas. He will initially focus on hiring, strategy and regulatory engagement to drive Monzo’s continued U.S. growth.
“Over the last five years, I have watched Monzo’s journey from a small U.K. start-up to a fully-fledged bank with over 3 million customers,” Anil said. “Joining Monzo as U.S. CEO is a fantastic opportunity to help recreate that magic in the U.S., and I’m delighted that I’ve been given the chance to be part of a team-building the bank of the future in a market as large and exciting as the U.S.”
His appointment follows other recent senior hires to the U.S. team — Joel Tashjian as general counsel and Erin Coppin as head of FinCrime — bringing the U.S. staff total to 20.
Blomfield told The Financial Times (FT) the appointment marked “one of the last steps required before we can formally file for a banking charter.”
The road to getting a U.S. banking license is paved with complexity. The $7.6 billion stock-trading startup Robinhood was trying to become a bank but ditched its application last week. A move to make the process easier was blocked by a federal court in October.
Monzo crossed the pond through a partnership with Ohio-based Sutton Bank and is the first of Europe’s digital banks to launch in the U.S. this year. Roughly 20,000 U..S customers are on its waiting list.
“We need to get the product right. Until it is really humming like the U.K. product was in the early days, we’ll keep it small,” Blomfield told FT.
Following a £113 million June funding round, Monzo’s total valuation was £2 billion.