British fintech Wise restricts payments amid Russian invasion of Ukraine

British fintech Wise imposed restrictions on money transfers to Russia after the country invaded Ukraine on Thursday morning.

Wise, formerly known as TransferWise, said UKTN that it also caps transfers on its platform to Ukraine in order to be able to continue to provide its service there.

“As long as we are able to do so, we will continue to provide our service to people who need to send money to Ukraine,” a Wise spokesperson said. UKTN. “Recent developments in the region mean that it is more difficult to operate our service.”

The spokesman added that he aims to remove Ukraine’s cap “as soon as we can” and is “monitoring the situation closely” to “comply with any sanctions”.

On Thursday morning, Ukraine said that “[Vladimir] Putin has launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Russia launched strikes against Ukrainian military infrastructure and sent tanks across the border.

UK, US, EU, Japan, Australia and others have reinforced sanctions against Russia, including financial sanctions against its banks and individuals.

Wise was founded by Estonian businessmen Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus in 2011 and is used for international money transfers.

The UK-listed company said it was keeping its measures “under constant review”.

A spokesperson for London-based digital bank Revolut said UKTN that he is “monitoring the situation in Ukraine carefully” and that he is “ready to take all necessary measures to ensure that we continue to operate in accordance with applicable sanctions laws and legislation”.

When asked what specific steps it was taking to stay in compliance with regulations, the Revolut spokesperson said: “We cannot comment on engagements with regulators.”

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