Brexit worries take TransferWise on Belgium licence hunt
TransferWise is applying for a payment institutions licence in Brussels to prepare for a ‘no deal’ Brexit.
The company holds regional headquarters in London, New York and Singapore – and when it comes to Europe says it wants to “ensure continuity of service”.
Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder, TransferWise, comments: “Brussels is at the heart of all EU affairs, so establishing an office in the city makes great sense for us. The National Bank of Belgium (NBB) impressed us with its understanding of the payments sector and openness to innovation, while at the same time being a strong and trusted regulator. We’re keen to build a similarly productive relationship with the NBB to the one we already have with the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).”
According to the paytech, it plans to grow its global headquarters of over 200 people in London. It employs over 1,400 people globally, with Brussels set to be its tenth office. Other offices include Tallinn, Budapest, Cherkasy, Tokyo, Sydney and Tampa.
There aren’t any numbers, but TransferWise will hire a small team as the first employees of its Belgian entity.
When it comes to stuff outside of Brussels, it’s happy to share the stats. The firm says that four million people use TransferWise to transfer over £3 billion every month – and it offers 1,300 currency routes, and 49 currencies.
TransferWise was co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Käärmann, and launched in 2011. It has raised $397 million from investors such as IVP, Old Mutual, Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson, Valar Ventures and Max Levchin of PayPal.
Last month, FinTech Futures’ special correspondent Martin Whybrow spoke to TransferWise about its progress, with partner banks as well as under its own steam.