Carlesi, whose appointment as U.K. CEO was announced Thursday (Nov. 2), comes to Revolut from Molo, a digital mortgage lender she founded. She also held senior roles at Deutsche Bank, Barclays, McKinsey & Co. and Bridgepoint Capital.
“As we continue to build out our leadership team, her extensive experience across the banking and FinTech sectors makes her the perfect CEO to drive our U.K. business forward,” Revolut UK Chairman Richard Holmes said in a news release provided to PYMNTS. “As a founder of her own FinTech, and having spent many years across the banking industry, Francesca knows what it takes to challenge the banking incumbents, and I look forward to celebrating her successes here in the months to come.”
Carlesi’s appointment comes as Revolut continues in its quest to attain a banking license from British regulators.
The digital banking services provider has run into several obstacles on its regulatory journey but is still reportedly committed to close collaboration with regulators and holds out hope for eventual license approval.
The company initially applied for the license in January 2021 but has since encountered numerous setbacks, turning a process that typically takes months into a years-old odyssey.
One major challenge has been its size, as Revolut has nearly 8 million customers in the U.K. This has attracted the attention of regulators who hope to ensure the robustness and compliance of Revolut’s operations compared to other newly licensed lenders.
The company is also dealing with external factors. For example, turmoil in the banking industry, including the failure of several banks earlier this year, has made regulators more hesitant. And the current economic climate has made it harder for FinTechs to raise capital.
“These factors have contributed to a more stringent approach from regulators during the application process,” PYMNTS wrote Oct. 22.
Revolut has already secured more than 70 licenses across various financial services and received an EU banking license from the Bank of Lithuania in 2021.