TransferWise is opening an Asian hub in Singapore

TransferWise co-founders, from left, Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus.TransferWiseTransferWise co-founders, from left, Kristo Kaarmann and Taavet Hinrikus.

LONDON — Online money transfer service TransferWise is launching a new regional hub in Singapore.

The fintech business announced on Thursday that it is opening a new office in Singapore that will act as a hub for the Asia-Pacific region. TransferWise hopes to have 30 employees based there by the end of the year.

Taavet Hinrikus, CEO and cofounder of TransferWise, said in an emailed statement: “It made perfect sense for TransferWise to choose Singapore as our APAC hub. The region is important for us as we expand globally, bringing our service to everyone in the world that transfers money internationally.”

Singapore has been actively trying to promote itself as a regional hub for fintech in Asia, with regulator the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) actively encouraging companies to set up shop in the city-state. A study by Deloitte released earlier this month found Singapore the joint top fintech hub globally, alongside London.

Hinrikus said: “The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) have demonstrated their commitment to making Singapore a place where fintech companies can flourish and we’re excited to be part of that.”

TransferWise’s new office will support offices in Sydney and Tokyo. The company is also launching its online money transfer services in Singapore.

London-headquartered TransferWise is one of Britain’s most successful fintech startups, valued at over $US1 billion (£780 million) and with funding of over $US117 million (£91.7 million). The company, founded in 2011, allows people to cheaply and easily send money abroad online. The company transfers over £1 billion across 750 currency routes each month.

While TransferWise is a flag-bearer for the UK fintech sector, Hinrikus caused embarrassment for the government earlier this month when he told the audience at a Treasury-organised conference: “If I was setting up TransferWise today, I probably would not choose London.”

Hinrikus has also said TransferWise plans to set up a new European office to act as its European headquarters post-Brexit, although London will remain the global head office. TransferWise currently has nine offices around the world and 650 employees.

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