British fintech firm Wise is launching its first foray into wealth management, allowing customers to invest the cash in their current accounts into stocks across multiple currencies.
Users can choose to invest the money held inside their Wise bank account or other pots into a global equity fund managed by BlackRock, while still retaining instant access to the majority of their cash.
Retail and business banking customers based in the UK will be able to use Wise Assets from 21 September and access the BlackRock iShares World Equity Index fund, a £40tn portfolio of stocks including Apple, Amazon and Google.
The move pits the transfer firm squarely against London rival Revolut, which began offering UK and European customers access to multi-currency accounts and stock investing in 2019.
Wise chairman Taavet Hinrikus and technology chief Harsh Sinha also personally invested in Lightyear, a new startup offering a similar product to Assets, earlier this month.
Wise chief executive Kristo Käärmann said the new tool is designed to allow users to earn a return on their cash across various currencies in a single place.
“It’s not a standard current account, or a savings account, or a stock picking investment platform. It’s something new we’ve built to give our customers a balance between the convenience, reliability, and potential returns of all three,” said Käärmann in a statement.
Assets will charge a 0.55% service fee to Wise and a 0.15% fund fee to BlackRock. Wise said it holds £4.3bn in balances from customers globally, though did not specify how much its UK users have on the platform.
Wise is rolling out Assets after a period of beta testing with customers, which began earlier this month. The firm waived its service fee during the trial but customers will be expected to pay both the fund and service fees from 21 September, according to an email to beta testers seen by Financial News.
The product’s launch comes after Wise was granted multiple new licences by the Financial Conduct Authority in June last year, which permitted the business to carry out regulated investment activities without a full banking licence.
Wise was one of the first among London’s fintech set to go public in a direct listing in June this year, debuting at a valuation of nearly £9bn.
Its shares have been gradually rising since then, increasing 22% year-to-date as of 20 September, givin the firm a market capitalisation of £10.8bn.
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