Wise to go public in direct London listing

Wise, formerly TransferWise, has announced plans to go public in a direct listing on the London Stock Exchange.

Kristo Käärmann, the FinTech’s chief executive, said the company’s decision to go public via a direct listing was “transparent and fair.”

Käärmann, who co-founded the business, explained that by choosing a direct listing instead of a standard IPO, the company is ensuring “everyone gets the same opportunity to own a part of Wise as large institutions.”

“We’re allowing our existing shareholders to sell on their own terms and allowing the open market to set a price in a transparent way that’s fair for all,” he said. “We are putting in place a voting structure that ensures our ream can focus on our mission over the long term.”

The direct listing means that Wise does not need to attract new investment, instead existing shares held by the company's shareholders will be tradable.

Wise, which has around 10 million customers, is best known for its money transfer service.

It currently moves roughly £5 billion across borders every month, which it claims saves customers fees worth £1 billion a year.

But the company, which was founded in 2010, now also has its own international account and has issued more than 1.6 debit cards to date.

The company said that customers held £3.7 billion in deposits as of March this year.

The decision to list in London will likely be seen as significant move for the UK government, which has been trying to attract new public listings from technology firms.

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