Shamed Wise chief questioned by watchdog over default | City & Business | Finance


The move comes after Mr Kaarmann, 41, was named and humiliated by HMRC last year. He imposed a fine of £365,651 on £720,495 of unpaid tax or duty in the year to April 2018.

Wise, which allows individuals and small businesses to transfer money across borders at a fraction of the cost of using a major bank, has seen its share price plummet since the fine emerged .

The company’s market value has more than halved from £8billion a year ago.

He said he had since launched his own internal investigation, with the help of outside legal advisers, which was completed at the end of last year.

Wise shared his findings and actions with FCA and said Mr. Kaarmann intended to cooperate fully with FCA’s investigation. Wise chairman David Wells said: “The board takes Kristo’s default and FCA’s investigation very seriously.”

“After reviewing the matter late last year, the board demanded that Kristo take corrective action, including appointing professional tax advisers to ensure his personal tax affairs are properly handled. “

“The Board has also shared details of its own findings, assessments and actions with FCA and will cooperate fully with FCA as needed, while continuing to support Kristo in his role as Chief Executive.” Mr Kaarmann co-founded Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, with Taavet Hinrikus in 2011.

He floated the company on the London Stock Exchange last July in what was one of the biggest IPOs of the year and the biggest London tech listing in history.

The Estonian Mr. Kaarmann still owns 19% of the company.

Shares of Wise fell yesterday following confirmation of the FCA investigation.

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