Wise CEO Käärmann may face FCA action over tax default

Wise CEO Käärmann may face FCA action over tax default

Wise co-founder and CEO Kristo Käärmann has been fined over £350,000 by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for deliberately defaulting on his tax bill. He could now face sanctions from the FCA over the matter.

HMRC revealed last week that Käärmann submitted his personal tax returns late for the 2017/18 tax year. His bill for the period was £720,495 and his default cost him a fine of £365,651, says the tax collector.

A spokesperson for Käärmann told CNBC that he "has since devoted more time to keeping his personal admin in order".

The Estonian-born billionaire is one of a host of people to be named as deliberate defaulters by HMRC, which says it publishes the details to influence behaviour.

Käärmann co-founded Wise with Taavet Hinrikus in 2011 and has since built it into a multi-billion dollar company that went public in July.

According to the Telegraph, which first reported the HMRC fine, the tax default could land Käärmann in trouble with the FCA because public company directors have to be free from conflicts between duties to their employer and private matters.

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 01 October, 2021, 16:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Shame the FCA doesnt take action against banks and bankers (traders) who purposfully missell products to organisations, forcing them into adminsitration and walk away making a mint...

This is a serious issue of purposfully defaulting, but as I say, it's far more damaging to the economy and our industry, that cultural issues are left un-addressed.