Digital Bank Pioneer in Australia Shuts Down, Returns Licence


Australia’s first digital bank Volt Bank is closing down, ending its deposit-taking, returning its banking licence and reducing staff numbers.

Volt Bank, which in February said it intended to raise A$200 million ($138 million), said it was unable to secure enough funding to support the business, it said in a statement.

Mortgage broking firm Australian Finance Group (AFG) last year built up an 8% stake in Volt worth A$15 million, local media reported in February. AFG did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Volt said it would sell its mortgage portfolio and return all deposits to customers in full.

“Volt has taken steps to reduce all expenses and staff numbers, other than those required to support the orderly return of deposits and pursue a realisation of the value of our remaining assets,” it said.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) said it would closely monitor the process to ensure the digital bank’s funds are returned to Volt’s depositors.

“Volt’s decision to exit the banking industry and pursue other business opportunities is a commercial decision for Volt,” APRA said.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell



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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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