Digital bank N26 has announced that it is leaving the UK market because of Brexit.

The Germany based fintech firm said its withdrawal from the country would take effect from 15 April and UK customers are being asked to move their deposits to accounts in other banks.

Until then, card payments, direct debits and other accounts will continue to work as normal.

The challenger bank's 100,000 customers here in Ireland will not be impacted by the decision.

"The timings and framework outlined in the EU Withdrawal Agreement mean that the company will in due course be unable to operate in the UK with its European banking licence," it said in a statement.

"While we fully respect the decision that has been taken, it means that N26 will in due course be unable to serve our customers in the UK and will have to leave the market," Thomas Grosse, Chief Banking Officer at N26 said.

"Although we will be leaving the UK, we will continue our mission to radically transform the global banking industry through innovation and the power of technology."

"This means growing within the European Union, where we recently crossed the 5 million customer mark, building our presence in the US, one of the most attractive global banking markets, and expanding into new countries."

The European Central Bank licensed bank has been offering free basic online only current account banking services into the Irish market since 2017.

It also offers premium products, N26 You and Metal, for which there is a charge.

Over the past year it has seen growth of 152% in Irish customer numbers.

The shuttering of UK operations will result in the staff of N26 there moving into new roles within the company, N26 said.

The bank said it had carried out a careful analysis of its position in the UK market after the UK parliament signed the Withdrawal Agreement.

"As a European bank with a European banking licence, we would need to undertake complex regulatory measures and product updates in order to continue operating in the UK," it said.

It added that a separate licence for the UK would have required significant operational processes and costs. 

"Despite N26 being a relatively small player in the UK compared to the other countries it operates in, closing all operations here is a move that has surprised the financial industry and customers alike," said Charlie, Barton, Banking and Investments Specialist at personal finance comparison site,

"While we wouldn't expect Revolut, whose banking license is in Lithuania, to follow suit, this will add fuel to the fire for critics of digital-only banks who are skeptical of their long term stability."

"However it also offers a clear opportunity for UK-based digital-only banks who will fancy their chances of sweeping up these 200,000 or so customers."