UK fintech Wise is launching its first foray into wealth management, allowing clients to invest money from their checking accounts in stocks in multiple currencies.
Users can choose to invest the money held in their Wise bank account or other pots in a global equity fund managed by BlackRock, while still maintaining instant access to the majority of their money.
UK-based retail banking and corporate clients will be able to use Wise Assets from September 21 and access the BlackRock iShares World Equity Index fund, a Â£ 40 billion equity portfolio including Apple, Amazon and Google .
The move pits the transfer company squarely against its London rival Revolut, which began offering UK and EU clients access to multi-currency accounts and equity investments in 2019.
Wise President Taavet Hinrikus and CTO Harsh Sinha also personally invested in Lightyear, a new startup offering a product similar to Assets, earlier this month.
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Wise Chief Executive Officer Kristo Kaarmann said the new tool is designed to allow users to get the most from their money in various currencies in one place.
âIt’s not a standard checking account, or a savings account, or an investment platform for stock picking. It’s something new that we’ve built to offer our customers a balance of convenience, reliability and the potential returns of all three, âKaarmann said in a statement.
Assets will charge a service fee of 0.55% to Wise and a fund fee of 0.15% to BlackRock. Wise has said he has Â£ 4.3 billion in customer balances worldwide, but did not say how much his 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 company waived its service fee during the trial, but customers will have to pay both the fund and the service fee starting Sept. 21, according to an email to beta testers seen by Financial news.
The product launch comes after Wise obtained several new licenses from the Financial Conduct Authority in June last year, which allowed the company to conduct regulated investment activities without a full banking license.
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Wise was one of the first fintechs in London to go public in June this year, with a valuation of almost Â£ 9 billion.
Its shares have steadily risen since then, rising 22% year-to-date through September 20, giving the company a market cap of Â£ 10.8 billion.
To contact the author of this story with comments or news, email Emily Nicolle