BaFin Lifts N26 Customer Onboarding Cap

: Germany’s financial regulator BaFin has lifted the customer onboarding cap for digital bank N26, allowing it to grow its customer base after significant investments in compliance and anti-money laundering technology

Berlin, Germany – After more than two years, Germany’s financial regulator BaFin has lifted the cap on the number of new customers that digital bank N26 can onboard. The cap, initially set at 50,000 new customers per month in 2021 and increased to 60,000 last year, will be removed on June 1.

The cap was imposed due to concerns over N26’s ability to combat financial crime and money laundering. The lifting of this restriction follows a period of “close exchange” between N26 and BaFin, during which the bank has significantly enhanced its compliance measures.

N26 has invested over €100 million in compliance, infrastructure, and teams dedicated to fighting money laundering. The digital lender has introduced advanced technology, including sophisticated intelligence-based models to assess the fraud potential of customers before account opening and self-learning transaction monitoring systems.

Maximilian Tayenthal, co-CEO and COO of N26, stated: “Our infrastructure and our use of modern, intelligence-based technology enable us to detect and combat fraud and money laundering in real time. We want to play a pioneering role among European banks in this field over the next few years.”

This decision comes weeks after BaFin fined N26 €9.2 million for systematically submitting late reports of suspected money laundering in 2022. Despite this setback, N26’s co-CEO Valentin Stalf told the Financial Times that the cap had significantly impacted the bank’s growth and valuation, costing the company billions.