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Online money transfer business shares increased as higher interest prices allow fintech threefold returns

June 28, 2023: On Tuesday, online money transfer business Wise’s shares aviated 16% as the group reported a spike in earnings thanks to increasing interest income.

The company told the stock market that its profit before tax tripled to £146.5 million. Profits per share also over tripled to 11.53 pence.

That was as the company witnessed customer growth of 34%, with 10 million total users by March 31, 2023, and volumes increased 37% to £104.5 billion.

Wise shares completed at about £6.11 Tuesday, up over 16% on the day.

Wise benefited from surging interest rates, which last week were raised by the Bank of England to 5% as policymakers grapple with persistently high inflation.

Like different fintechs, Wise has accrued income from interest on funds in customer accounts.

Monzo and Starling Bank recently declared their respective profitability milestones, citing increased income from lending.

Wise said Tuesday its revenues increased 51% to £846.1 million from £559.9 million the year prior.

Overall income reported by the firm climbed to £964.2 million, up 73% year-on-year. A surge inspired this in the amount of funds deposited by customers.

Still, Wise has been grappling with several less positive developments.

Last year, the group’s CEO, Kristo Kaarmann, became the subject of an investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over a £365,651 tax bill he failed to pay on time.

The news is significant as it could lead to severe ramifications for Kaarmann’s work if he is found to have breached U.K. tax laws.

“The FCA [Financial Conduct Authority] is still conducting the investigation, and it’s taking a while. I find this is a bit unfortunate, but we’ll have to wait until we hear what they conclude,” Karmann said in an interview on Tuesday.

“It has little to do with the business we’re running; it was a personal mistake. I was late with my taxes a long time ago and paid the fines.”

Wise was also the subject of a $360,000 fine by controllers in Abu Dhabi over failings in its anti-money laundering controls.

This issue has since been “resolved,” Kaarmann said.

Earlier this year, Karmann announced that he plans to take a three-month sabbatical between September and December to spend time with his baby.

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