TransferWise applies for Belgian license in case of a no-deal Brexit

Keiligh Baker's picture
by Keiligh Baker

London-based fintech unicorn TransferWise has applied for a Belgian license in case of a no-deal Brexit.

TransferWise is a peer-to-peer platform that offers individuals and businesses an international money transfer service that bypasses banks to keep costs down.

The money transfer firm will open an office in Belgium's capital, but continue to expand its global headquarters in London where it employs more than 200 people.
"A Belgian licence ensures we can continue to provide a great service globally to our customers, whatever happens with the Brexit deal," Chief Executive Kristo Kaarmann said in a statement.

TransferWise chose Brussels as a post-Brexit EU hub because the city is at the heart of the bloc's institutions, Kaarmann said. The company was also attracted by the Belgian central bank's understanding of the payments sector and openness to innovation, he added.

The company is one of Europe's best-known fintech startups, having gained popularity by offering a simpler and cheaper alternative to traditional banks for international money transfers.

Co-founded by Estonian friends Taavet Hinrikus and Kaarmann in 2011, TransferWise says it moves more than £3 billion across the world every month and employs 1,400 people globally.

The company booked an operating profit of £9.5 million over the 12-month period ending in March 2018 on £117 million in revenue.