I am a bit late to this story as it was announced a month ago, but Azimo’s accreditation from the Dutch Central Bank is interesting in these uncertain times.
It is yet another example of UK base companies setting up operations in other EU countries, the ones that don’t want to leave, to ensure they can operate right across the EU when the UK leaves the trading block.
The cross border payments money transfer fintech has guaranteed itself the right to operate across Europe whatever happens with Brexit. This is a good move given that nobody seems to have an idea.
I wrote up an interview with Azimo CEO and co-founder Michael Kent in March.
At the time he told me what a bad idea he thinks Brexit is and how things have got worse as the process of trying to leave has unfolded.
He also said the company’s operation in Krakow, where its development and compliance teams sit would be operationalised if need be.
The company has now taken a further step with the Dutch licence and office in Amsterdam.
This is yet more evidence that London might be the best place for fintechs to thrive, but it is not the only place. And Brexit could make places like Amsterdam even more attractive.
Kent said the company looked at many jurisdictions but decided the best place to expand its European operations was the Netherlands.
“Outside the UK, it’s the best place to grow a fintech company in Europe. It offers a welcoming culture open to innovation, access to talent, a thriving banking sector and a strong regulator.”
The authorities in the Netherlands are certainly welcoming. Jeroen Nijland, commissioner for the Netherlands foreign investment agency, (NFIA), said the country’s growing ecosystem of fintechs serves consumers and businesses across the European continent and beyond. “Azimo will be in good company amongst global players like Bloomberg and MarketAxess, and homegrown successes such as Adyen and Booking.com.”
I am interested to hear from any UK fintechs that are setting up in EU countries to ensure they can operate as usual post Brexit.