TransferWise, one of London’s most valuable tech “unicorns,” has taken a backhanded swipe at the government’s new plans to make companies list all of their foreign employees — a measure being introduced to prevent overseas workers “taking jobs British people could do.”
In a blog posted on TransferWise’s website on Friday, and titled “Dear Amber [Home Secretary Amber Rudd]” the company — which allows people to send money abroad online with lower fees than banks and other traditional operators — defended its multinational workforce, saying:
This week, the Home Secretary in the UK suggested employers should be required to report any foreign nationals they employ.
Happy to do just that. We’re very proud of our international team.
It’s that team that meant we were the first technology company to join the UK Faster Payments Network earlier this year.
It’s that team that helps people move £800 million around the world every month – saving millions in unfair fees in the process.
TransferWise and other tech companies in the UK innovate and compete globally – thanks to international talent.
TransferWise then goes on to list the 26 different nationalities of workers in its London headquarters, which include places as far afield as New Zealand, Argentina, and India.
The company was one of London’s first fintech “unicorns” — a private business valued at over $1 billion — and has attracted funding from Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson, and Scottish asset manager Baille Gifford, among others. In job ads, it promises to “revolutionize” the world of international money transfer.
The blog finishes by saying: “We’re proud to be an international team, based in London. TransferWise is a global service, built by a global team, for a world without borders (or walls).”
Rudd’s new proposals have been the subject of much debate in the past few days, with Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn accusing the government of fanning “the flames of xenophobia and hatred in our communities,” and numerous business leaders speaking out against the plans.
However, a poll undertaken by YouGov showed that the British public supports the proposals, with 59% of respondents saying that they support the idea, while just 26% said they oppose it. The idea has particularly strong support in Labour “heartlands” of Wales, the Midlands, and the North of England. Support in those regions is 61%.
Its appeal straddles class boundaries, too: 61% of working-class people support the idea, and 58% of middle-class people do.