LONDON, April 12 Money transfer company
Transferwise, one of the biggest fintech firms in Europe, will
move its European headquarters from London to mainland Europe by
March 2019 in order to keep access to the single market after
Brexit, its CEO said on Wednesay.
Taavet Hinrikus, who co-founded the $1 billion company in
2011 in London with fellow Estonian Kristo Kaarmann, said if
they were setting up the company now, they would not chose
Britain for its location due to uncertainty from Brexit.
"Uncertainty means that maybe if you're building the next
fintech business you shouldn't build it in London today, until
everything clears up again and we understand what’s going to
happen with access to talent and so on," he told Reuters at the
sidelines of a government-sponsored fintech event in London.
Hinrikus said the global headquarters would remain in
London, where the company employs around 120 people, because the
UK is its biggest market.
The company has not yet decided where the new European
headquarters will be, he said, but it will be set up by March
2019, so that it will be in place when Britain has finally
exited the EU, and will provide jobs that would otherwise have
been in Britain.
The main reason for the move, Hinrikus said, was the loss of
passporting rights, which give EU companies unfettered access to
all of the bloc from a single base.
(Reporting by Jemima Kelly; Editing by Huw Jones)