On the 6th December 2021, UK digital wealth manager Wealthsimple announced that it will no longer be providing investment services in the UK, transferring existing eligible accounts to Moneyfarm. Wealthsimple started life in Canada back in 2014 and subsequently launched in the UK in September 2017.
After only four and a half years, the decision to withdraw from the UK market comes as a surprise to many. Indeed, newly appointed CEO Caroline Murphree announced only last year that it had "the right team, strategy and growth to deliver on its goal of helping people secure a stronger financial future”.
She continued "I look forward to leading the company as we remain focused on building out our core investment product and growing our business-to-business offering in the UK and Europe".
At the time there was talk of adding other products including 'Roundups', which allow customers to invest their spare change, a high-interest savings account as well as a commission-free trading platform.
Despite receiving backing from The Power Financial Group to the tune of $100m as well as a further $100m of investment from Allianz X back in May 2019, Wealthsimple has continued to post growing losses. The latest company accounts reveal losses of £487k in 2016, £2.3m in 2017, rising to £3.6m in 2018.
An announcement on its website simply states that "This decision was a result of a shift in focus to our Canadian business for the time being".
What will happen to existing UK Wealthsimple customers?
In an email sent out to existing customers, Wealthsimple stated that its "first priority has been to find the right partner to help you continue your investment journey. That is why we’ll be transferring eligible Wealthsimple accounts to Moneyfarm - a leading European digital wealth manager who share our mission of making investing human, simple and low-cost".
The transition has been designed to be seamless and so long as customers are happy with the decision to move over to Moneyfarm, then there is nothing they need to do. On 28 January 2022, accounts will automatically be transferred to Moneyfarm, where they will then be invested into managed portfolios based on the financial goals and risk appetite of each customer. Before Wealthsimple transfers the account they will be in touch with more details about Moneyfarm and the services they provide. They will also provide contact details so that customers can get in touch with them directly.
What fees are payable when an account transfers from Wealthsimple to Moneyfarm?
Wealthsimple has confirmed that customers will not have to pay more by transferring to Moneyfarm. Customers will continue to pay the same fees that they were paying Wealthsimple or alternatively will be moved to Moneyfarm's fee structure - whichever is lower. For more information on Moneyfarm and its fees, check out our full independent Moneyfarm review.
What will happen to Wealthsimple accounts that have yet to be funded?
Any accounts or products that have been opened with Wealthsimple but are yet to be funded will not be transferred to Moneyfarm.
Do Wealthsimple customers have to accept a transfer to Moneyfarm?
No. Wealthsimple said "We respect your wishes when it comes to your investments and that is why you have the right to opt out of the transfer to Moneyfarm if you decide this is not the right option for you. Simply withdraw your funds or initiate a transfer of your account to another financial institution by 5 January 2022. If you do not take action by this date, we’ll transfer your account to Moneyfarm on 28 January".
Will Wealthsimple customers still be able to access the Wealthsimple app?
No. The Wealthsimple app has been disabled, however, customers will still have full access to their account from either a mobile or computer by visiting the website on a web browser.
If you are a Wealthsimple customer and are wondering whether you should transfer from Wealthsimple to Moneyfarm (or to an alternative) then check out the following reviews of Wealthsimple alternatives.
- Moneyfarm review
- Wealthify review
- Nutmeg review
- Best and cheapest investment ISA for beginners
- Robo best buy table
How to contact Wealthsimple
If you have been affected by the news and need to get in touch with Wealthsimple you can email them at [email protected] or alternatively call on 0800 808 5653.