At a government-backed conference designed to trumpet the UK as a post-Brexit fintech powerhouse, the CEO of Transferwise went off-message, suggesting startups should avoid London and confirming that his own firm will move its European headquarters to the mainland.
The Treasury-sponsored International Fintech Conference jamboree brought in big hitters including Chancellor Phillip Hammond and Bank of England governor Mark Carney to talk up the booming financial technology sector.
London was recently ranked alongside Singapore as the top destination for fintech in a report by Deloitte yet Taavet Hinrikus, founder of money transfer unicorn Transferwise, says that post-Brexit the city is no longer the best place to start a firm.
"Uncertainty means that maybe if you're building the next fintech business you shouldn't build it in London today, until everything clears up again and we understand what’s going to happen with access to talent and so on," he told Reuters.
Hinrikus says that while Transferwise will keep its global headquarters in London, it will also set up a European HQ outside of Britain by March 2019 in order to avoid losing passporting rights.