These money transfer startups are restricting services on referendum day

Lynsey Barber
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Money transfer startups will potentially be subject to currency swings (Source: Getty)

Several of the UK's fast growing online money transfer companies have said they will restrict their services on the day of the EU referendum.

The unprecedented step is due to the potential volatility of currency markets on Friday.

Startup Azimo has said it will temporarily suspend money transfers from 6am on Thursday morning when polls open, until "things have settled down on Friday and we can safely trade again".

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"The uncertainty around the result will unfortunately create significant disruption in the currency markets: the value of the pound is fluctuating and markets are unpredictable, making trading unstable," said Azimo co-founder and general manager Marta Krupinska.

"Azimo has never had to close its service like this before, but in these unprecedented circumstances we believe it is the right thing to do. We don't want to gamble with people’s hard-earned money, so ensuring its safety is the most important thing for us.”

The move follows billion-dollar startup Transferwise, which yesterday said it would take similar measures.

Incoming pound transfers will be halted on Thursday morning from 7am and outgoing transfers from 6pm to protect companies from rate volatility.

"As much as possible it’s business as usual: our systems are built to deal with currency volatility so we’re always prepared for that eventuality. However, this week is definitely an unusual one. In order to deliver the best possible service to our customers in this period, we have decided to make the provisions."

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Transferwise also warned of the potential for transfers to take longer, "due to additional trading limits or possible delays in the UK banking system on Thursday or Friday".

WorldRemit, another currency transfer startup based in London told City A.M. that it had been planning for the referendum and tomorrow would be business as usual. The firm refused to comment further on the specific plans it had made.

A vote for Brexit wil likely lead to a sharp drop in the pound and polls suggesting a lead for Leave have led to increasing volatility in the run up to tomorrow's vote.

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