Investigation in to Revolut’s links with Russia
So it seems that allegations of Revolut’s links with Russia aren’t going away just yet as the Lithuanian parliament voted to conduct an investigation.
This is going to put a cloud over the London-based fintech that seemed, until recently, unable to put a foot wrong.
Founder Nikolay Storonsky obviously denies any link but if one is found, Lithuania could revoke the licence it granted Revolut at the end of last year.
This would put a real spanner in the works for Revolut’s global expansion ambitions as it would always come up in the future.
If no link is proved, sentiment will skyrocket, but if there IS one, then Revolut’s future could get very tricky with investor withdrawal and potential lawsuits.
Mike Ashley’s plans for House of Fraser
The other thing I wanted to talk about today was Mike Ashley’s plans for House of Fraser.
According to his suppliers, he’s going to split the group up into two brands – “Frasers” as a more up-market designer label destination and “House of Fraser” as the more mass-market brand as part of his previously stated wish to make it the “Harrods of the high street”.
Since he bought it out of administration last year for £90m, a number of brands such as Chanel, Clarins and Max Mara have abandoned the chain but, on the other hand, he has updated the stores tills and IT systems and cut costs by moving its warehousing and distribution to the main Sports Direct facility in Shirebrook Derbyshire, and merging the HQs of House of Fraser and Ashley’s luxury clothing chain Flannels.
An official announcement on this is expected in a matter of weeks, but patience will be required as Ashley has stated before that a turnaround would take two years.