N26 solidifies key leadership roles as part of new financial holding structure

Berlin - Today, N26, the Mobile Bank announces that it has expanded its management team with the appointment of three experienced governance, risk, compliance and financial experts to key leadership roles. These include Thomas Grosse taking on the role of Chief Risk Officer (CRO), Dr. Stephan Niermann, as Group Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO), and Dr. Volker Vonhoff as Director of Group Risk. Alongside the appointment of Dr. Jan Kemper as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the Group, these new roles have been filled as N26 solidifies its new management team in their new financial holding company structure. In recent months, N26 has better positioned its efforts to implement a strict governance, risk and compliance enhancement program, consolidating efforts which were already underway across the organisation. Strengthening governance, risk and compliance functions Over the last two years, N26 focused on assembling a highly experienced team of experts in the areas of governance, risk, compliance and finance, many of whom are also part of its tenured management team. Together, these experts are responsible for strengthening the compliance of The Mobile Bank for the increasingly complex regulatory requirements of the banking sector.
Valentin Stalf, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of N26: “We are aware of our special responsibility as a digital pioneer and therefore maintain an open and constructive relationship with the supervisory authorities. The expansion of our management structures in the areas of governance, compliance, risk management and anti-money laundering is an important step on our growth path towards being a truly global digital bank, positioning us well as we look to the future."
Chief Banking Officer Thomas Grosse joined N26 in 2019, and was appointed as Managing Director of N26 Bank GmbH and N26 GmbH recently. He has also taken on a new role as Chief Risk Officer (CRO) for the N26 Group, where he will be responsible for strengthening our governance, risk and compliance functions. He is supported in this by Dr. Stephan Niermann, who came on board as the Group’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer. With over 20 years of experience in compliance and money laundering prevention at international commercial banks, Stephan is responsible for N26’s AFC teams and anti-money laundering (AML) systems, developing them based on the latest findings while maintaining a regular exchange with the supervisory authorities. N26 created the position of Director of Group Risk in our financial holding structure and appointed Dr. Volker Vonhoff to the role, which oversees risk controlling and capital planning (ICAAP), credit risk management and the management of non-financial risks. Additionally, Dr. Jan Kemper officially started at N26 this July as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and a Managing Director for the newly created financial holding at a Group level. N26 has also significantly increased staffing in the areas of governance, compliance, risk management and anti-money laundering. This team has strengthened our approach in each of these arenas with the use of artificial intelligence, advanced algorithms, statistical modelling and machine learning. Deepening cooperation with regulatory authorities In 2016, N26 became one of the first digital banks to be granted a German banking license. With its Financial Holding license application now submitted, it is set to become the first fully-regulated fintech in Germany. While being a fully-licensed bank comes with routine regulatory reviews and close collaboration with regulators, N26 has also been deepening the collaboration with supervisory authorities as part of this important transition to a Financial Holding structure. Today, more than ever, open and frequent cooperation with our regulators is a part of our day-to-day work as we operationalize the requisite regulatory structures required of any Financial Holding company. In Germany, this means that our team members are always in regular contact with the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the Deutsche Bundesbank. From regular meetings with the management, to routine audits as one would expect for any financial institution, N26 is always in exchange with these important stakeholders to strengthen its focus on key regulatory topics. Fight against financial crime Since the beginning of the pandemic, criminal activity in online commerce has risen sharply. The resulting demands on banks in the fight against crime have also increased. In response to these global challenges, the digital bank has also stepped up measures in the online area of fraud prevention and AML:
  • In 2021 alone, invested more than 25 million euros in the fight against money laundering and made sustainable progress in curbing online fraud.
  • Enhanced transaction monitoring systems to detect any fraudulent transactions immediately as one of only a few banks in Europe able to detect and assess suspicious activity in real time with intelligent data points, algorithms and machine learning.
  • Further improved identity verification processes through machine learning and automated analyses.
With these measures, N26 is looking to build a sustainable long-term focus that will offer customers the best and most secure mobile banking experience today and in the future.

About N26

N26 is building the first mobile bank the world loves to use. Valentin Stalf and Maximilian Tayenthal founded N26 in 2013 and launched the initial product in early 2015. Today N26 has more than 5 million customers in 25 markets. The company employs more than 1.500 employees across 5 office locations: Berlin, New York Barcelona, Vienna and São Paulo. With a full German banking license, state-of-the-art technology and no branch network, N26 has redesigned banking for the 21st century and is available on Android, iOS, and desktop. N26 has raised close to $800 million from the world’s most established investors, including Insight Venture Partners, GIC, Tencent, Allianz X, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, Earlybird Venture Capital, Greyhound Capital, Battery Ventures, in addition to members of the Zalando management board, and Redalpine Ventures. N26 currently operates in: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the US, where it operates via its wholly-owned subsidiary, N26 Inc., based in New York. Banking services in the US are offered by N26 Inc. in partnership with Axos® Bank, Member FDIC.