27 June 2022
This announcement contains inside information
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Investigation into Kristo Käärmann
In September 2021, HM Revenue & Customs ("HMRC"), the UK tax authority, updated its published list of individuals and businesses receiving penalties for a deliberate default regarding their tax affairs (the "list"). Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Wise, Kristo Käärmann ("Kristo" and the "CEO"), was included on the list and will remain so for 12 months from its publication.
Following the inclusion of the CEO's name in this list, the Board of Wise (the "Board") conducted an investigation with support from external legal counsel. The investigation concluded in Q4 2021, and the Board shared details of its findings, assessment and actions with the FCA.
In relation to this matter, the FCA has commenced an investigation regarding the regulatory obligations and standards to which Kristo is subject. Kristo intends to cooperate fully with the FCA in its investigation.
David Wells, Chair, said: "The Board takes Kristo's tax default and the FCA's investigation very seriously. After reviewing the matter late last year the Board required that Kristo take remedial actions, including appointing professional tax advisors to ensure his personal tax matters are appropriately managed. The Board has also shared details of its own findings, assessment and actions with the FCA and will cooperate fully with the FCA as and when they require, while continuing to support Kristo in his role as CEO."
At this time, Wise does not intend to make any further comment given the ongoing regulatory investigation. As and when appropriate, Wise will provide an update.
Martyn Adlam - Head of Owner Relations
Sana Rahman - Head of Public Relations
Charles Pretzlik / Sarah West / Samantha Chiene
+44 (0) 20 7404 5959
Wise is a global technology company, building the best way to move money around the world. With the Wise account people and businesses can hold over 50 currencies, move money between countries and spend money abroad. Large companies and banks use Wise technology too; an entirely new cross-border payments network that will one day power money without borders for everyone, everywhere. However you use the platform, Wise is on a mission to make your life easier and save you money. Co-founded by Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, Wise launched in 2011 under its original name TransferWise.
It is one of the world's fastest growing profitable tech companies and is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker, WISE. 13 million people and businesses use Wise, which processes over £8 billion in cross-border transactions every month, saving customers over £1 billion a year.
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