The City watchdog has withdrawn its consumer warning against a trendy British fintech which was popular with Instagram influencers.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) on Friday said it had spoken to Lanistar, which is hoping to become the UK’s next tech unicorn, after it agreed to update its marketing materials to confirm that it is not currently in business.
The regulator said it had received several complaints about the startup, which claims it will offer the world’s most secure card, and grew concerned that it had not been authorised to operate.
Lanistar is targeting avid social media fans to offer an alternative to traditional banking. It said earlier this week that it had thousands of Instagram influencers lined up to promote the launch of its card and had signed up over 200,000 interested consumers.
In a statement, Lanistar clarified with the FCA that although it is simply launching registrations, and is not currently offering any banking services. It confirmed that it "would not be providing financial services or products without the FCA’s authorisation" and that its future services would be made by partnering with regulated companies like Mastercard.
The FCA said it "will be working with the firm closely ahead of their launch”.
Millionaire Birmingham YouTuber Lord Aheem, model Demi Rose and footballer Kevin De Bruyne had promoted the card on their verified accounts but many quickly deleted any promotions linked to the company when the FCA advised against its use on Wednesday.
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Founder Gurhan Kiziliz, who describes himself as a serial entrepreneur, claims that Lanistar will offer “the world’s most secure card” thanks to its “polymorphic technology”.
The Mastercard-backed company is headquartered in Hammersmith, west London with 150 employees.