Controversial London fin-tech firm Revolut has reportedly called in the services of defamation lawyers and PR crisis management experts amid an onslaught of negative press.
Online finance site Yahoo Finance UK recently reported that Revolut had appointed MHP Communications to act as external PR and communications advisors. The report also claimed that Keith Gladdis, a former news editor at the Daily Mail, is understood to be working on the account.
The new service also reported that a spokesperson for Revolut indicated that appointing an outside PR firm was the “logical development for a large and growing business.”
“MHP Communications will undertake a programme of proactive campaigns and media strategy to support Revolut in its next phase of international growth, led by the agency’s specialist financial services team. This includes launching in north America and Asia as part of a long term programme of international expansion,” Yahoo Finance reported the spokesperson as saying.
Last month, Wired magazine reported on what it claimed was a “toxic” culture within the billion dollar startup, which has fast become one of the most successful new financial technology companies in the UK. Yahoo Finance also said that the company has called in defamation lawyers in a bid to “advise on libel, slander and internet defamation matters and recommend to senior management the steps required to protect the business’s reputation by bringing or defending such claims.”
Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky has previously denied any allegations of money laundering and negligence. The firm also said that it was putting in place improvements around working practices at the company.
Indeed, this isn’t the first time the firm has landed in hot water. The Financial Conduct Authority has made enquiries into currency transfer firm Revolut after being contacted by a whistleblower.
The ex-employee told the FCA in 2016 about concerns they had over compliance and the conduct of the firm’s chief executive, Nikolay Storonsky. The FCA informed the whistleblower via email that “our investigation is now coming to a close.”
The former employee said they believed systems for flagging suspect payments were not good enough, and that this behaviour put strain on some of the company’s banking partners and staff.
“Those systems were utterly inadequate,” the whistleblower said. A number of Revolut employees who worked at the firm before 2018 have corroborated the whistleblower’s statements.
They all corroborated the whistleblower’s testimony that there was conflict over compliance issues between staff and the chief executive.
One former member of the compliance team said new staff believed they could improve compliance at Revolut, but many would become disillusioned after working there.
“Candidates would come in for the head of compliance job and be told that compliance was being run by incompetent people previously, then they would get the job and realise that the problem was the leadership. They wouldn’t listen,” the person said.
“The CEO refused to listen to the compliance team,” another former employee agreed.