London: 09:15, Wednesday 7 July 2021: Wise releases independent research* revealing £150 billion is unknowingly spent in hidden fees on foreign currency transfers each year, to coincide with its direct listing on the London Stock Exchange today.
The research was unveiled by company founders Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus from the company’s Tallinn office, as part of a private listing ceremony streamed to the company’s 2,400 Wisers (employees), located in 17 offices around the world.
The direct listing is the first of a technology company on the London Stock Exchange. In contrast to a traditional Initial Public Offering, a direct listing is a fairer, cheaper and more transparent way for Wise to broaden its ownership, in support of its mission to move money around the world faster, cheaper, more conveniently and transparently.
“Wise was created to solve the problem of the billions unknowingly spent in hidden fees every year on currency exchange. Those are the billions we care most about, even today.
“Our listing is incredibly exciting, and lots of hard work from many people has made it a reality. But, it’s important to remember that we’re still very early on in our journey. Moving money into another currency is still a maze of hidden exchange rate mark-ups, high fees, delays, and small print for many people. We’re currently saving customers around £1 billion a year in these hidden fees. The £149 billion that’s still to go remains our focus.”
An independent report from Edgar, Dunn and Company, with research undertaken in January 2021, shows that over £150 billion is paid in fees to traditional banks each year. These fees are either extracted through an exchange rate mark-up or a rate mark-up plus additional fees. The same research shows that only 4% of surveyed bank customers understand what they are being charged in these transactions.