Atlantic Money accuses Wise of being ‘harmful to competition’ in letter to regulator

Atlantic Money Wise Image credit: Atlantic Money

Atlantic Money has written a letter to the UK’s competition regulator accusing British fintech Wise of being “harmful competition” by delisting the payments startup from its price comparison tool.

In a letter to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), seen by UKTN, Atlantic Money claims that Wise implements policies that “result in it only comparing itself to competitors in a manner which benefits itself” and that “Wise is effectively acting as a gatekeeper to the market”.

This, the letter states, is “creating a substantial barrier to entry” for rivals to enter the market. Atlantic Money said it has also been rejected to list on Wise-owned price comparison websites such as Exiap.com and Geldtransfers.

Founded in 2020, London-based Atlantic Money lets customers send up to £1m abroad, charging a flat fixed fee of £3. The complaint puts Atlantic Money at loggerheads with its much larger competitor Wise, which went public in 2021 in London’s largest-ever tech listing.

Neeraj Baid, co-founder, Atlantic Money, said: “Wise’s foundation is built on the promise of trust, transparency and doing the best for the people. It’s disappointing to see now that they become what they have always fought against. We are even more convinced now that we are on the right track.”

In a statement, Wise said: “We’re really proud to have the comparison tool as part of our website, and we’re not afraid to list cheaper competitors. We’ve done that for years and still do. We decided to remove Atlantic Money for the time being for a number of operational reasons, including queries received from customers about their business. We take compliance with all applicable laws very seriously.”

UKTN asked for more details on the “queries received from customers” but Wise declined to give further comment.

Wise’s website states: “Sometimes, we won’t be your cheapest option. Whenever possible, our price comparison tool will let you know that.”

According to Atlantic Money, it was “often shown” as the cheapest for “a number of G10 currencies”.

Wise recently increased its revenue growth projection for the upcoming financial year. It is no stranger to controversy, with its co-founder and CEO Kristo Käärmann under investigation by the financial regulator for failing to pay a £720,495 tax bill.

Atlantic Money came out of stealth in March last year before going on to raise £2.5m in the following July. In October, Atlantic Money recruited ex-Revolut manager Calum McWhir as its chief operating officer (COO).