UK-based money transfer firm TransferWise has applied for a Belgian payment institutions licence in order to ensure uninterrupted access to European Union markets after Brexit.

The firm plans to set up an office in Belgian capital, which will mark its tenth location globally.

Its London base, which is home to more than 200 employees, is said to remain in place.

Transferwise Belgian licence is Brexit precaution

The firm also has regional headquarters in New York and Singapore, as well as branches in Tallinn, Budapest, Cherkasy, Tokyo, Sydney and Tampa.

TransferWise CEO Kristo Kaarmann said: “Brussels is at the heart of all EU affairs, so establishing an office in the city makes great sense for us. The National Bank of Belgium impressed us with its understanding of the payments sector and openness to innovation, while at the same time being a strong and trusted regulator.

“We’re keen to build a similarly productive relationship with the NBB to the one we already have with the UK’s FCA.”

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TransferWise has raised $397m since its inception in 2011.

The firm, co-founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Käärmann, is backed by Institutional Venture Partners, Old Mutual, Andreessen Horowitz, billionaire Richard Branson, among others.

Early last year, US-based money transfer giant MoneyGram selected Brussels as its post-Brexit EU hub.