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Global Newsletter: Wise rides the rising interest rate wave to 234% profit growth

The following is an excerpt from today’s Global Newsletter.

We’ve all heard about the rising rates and their wake of destruction on the industry, but it seems that Wise missed the memo.

The company announced they had tripled profits before tax in the year ending March 31 2023. Their customer base had grown by 34% over the past year, and transaction volumes had increased 37%. 

“Our results in FY2023 are another proof point that we have truly customer-led growth, and we’re growing fast to capture more of a huge market,” said CFO Matt Briers.

Kristo Käärmann, CEO of WiseKristo Käärmann, CEO of WiseKristo Käärmann, CEO of WiseKristo Käärmann, CEO of Wise
Kristo Käärmann, CEO of Wise

Wise said it had been helped by “unusual trends” including the increased interest rate income in the second half of the year. While they were positive, they said volume per customer had dipped in Q4, pointing to a continued drop going into FY2024. Wise was, as a result, cautious, highlighting the company may continue to be buffeted by the uncertain environment. 

They can’t have been too concerned though as medium-term provisions pointed to ongoing income growth and adjusted EBITDA margins. They explained this growth would be directly affected by the Bank of England’s ongoing decisions on interest rate rises. 

The announcement means that Wise joins two other UK-based fintechs (Starling and Monzo) that announced outstanding profitability this year. 

However, the news comes at the end of a challenging time for the company, which survived a number of scandals in 2022. 

CEO Kristo Käärmann, has announced a three-month sabbatical for later this year to spend time with his family. There is speculation that interim CEO Harsh Sinha may permanently take up the role. CFO Matt Briers also stated he would be stepping down in early 2024 – all make for seismic shifts in the C-Suite. 

While the company is now in a prime position, these times, as they say, continue to remain “uncertain.” Can Wise continue to weather the storm?  

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  • Isabelle is a journalist for Fintech Nexus News and leads the Fintech Coffee Break podcast.

    Isabelle’s interest in fintech comes from a yearning to understand society’s rapid digitalization and its potential, a topic she has often addressed during her academic pursuits and journalistic career.

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