MADRID, SPAIN – UK fintech company WorldRemit is considering opening a new office in the European Union to cope with Brexit and Dublin is a frontrunner.
CEO and founder Ismail Ahmed told Business Insider on the sidelines of MoneyConf on Tuesday that the company is currently looking at locations for a possible new office, following last year’s vote for the UK to leave the European Union.
WorldRemit lets people send money overseas via their smartphone and caters for the so-called remittance market – migrants and emigres sending small, regular amounts of money to family and friends in developing markets.
Ahmed said the company doesn’t want to be caught short if Britain falls out of the EU in 2019 under a so-called “hard Brexit,” with no deal reached at the end of negotiations. This would leave all companies that trade with the EU trapped in a legal limbo, with no official guidelines for trade.
To make sure WorldRemit’s EU customers won’t be left unable to send money, Ahmed said the business is looking at opening a subsidiary in an EU country that could handle the business.
Dublin has emerged as a likely candidate, given the Irish regulator’s similar interpretation of EU anti-money laundering regulation. WorldRemit does much of its identity checks through its app rather than face to face and would want any new EU office to be regulated by a watchdog that accepts this kind of due diligence.
Azimo, a rival UK mobile remittance company, announced plans to open a Dublin office in April over Brexit concerns. Other financial services firms are also eyeing Dublin – JPMorgan purchased an office building with space for 1,000 people in the Irish city and Goldman Sachs is also said to be considering relocating jobs there.