FairFX gains credit broker licence and changes name to Equals Group

E-banking company FairFX (LON: FFX) announced that it would change its name to Equals Group (LON: EQLS) with recent developments to company structures and functions leading the change.

FairFX – Equals Group name change

The Company said the change reflected an evolution, and ultimately the reduced importance of its FX (Forex) business.

The decision to change the Company’s name reflects the evolution of both its operations and product offering, which have diversified in recent years beyond the heritage foreign exchange businesses of international payments and travel money, and further into integrated money management solutions for consumers and businesses, covering banking and payments.”

“Since 2017, the Group has almost tripled in size in terms of turnover and its operations have broadened into three significant businesses – FairFX, CardOneMoney and City Forex. The unification of these businesses under a new, distinctive brand will provide further benefits for the Group in terms of supply chain management and efficiency. Whilst foreign exchange expertise and revenues continue to be integral to the Group, the increasing importance of non-FX related activities necessitated a change to a new umbrella brand identity, under which all the services of the Group can be represented. The Group believes this will approach will also optimise customer acquisition, retention and engagement.”

The Company said that the Equals Group brand would be rolled out across its range of products through the course of 2019. It added that this programme would be completed by the year’s end and would ‘optimise cross-selling of products’.

In response to the name change, Company CEO Ian Stafford-Taylor said:

“The inspiration for the new name comes from a simple piece of insight: that our relentless focus on solving everyday problems by applying our ingenuity equals a better way for our customers to manage their money. Ultimately, we’re helping them to save time and money with a more human touch; an approach which has built great customer loyalty in our business. With a series of new products set to launch in the second half of the year, which will strengthen our position in the SME money management space, it’s a truly exciting time for us and our customers to be moving forward as Equals.”

Credit Broker Licence

The company announced that through its subsidiary – Spectrum Payment Services Ltf – it had been granted permission to provide credit facilities by the FCA. This step forward allows the group to act as a broker for loan products to its SME and retail clients. With FairFX (or Equals Group) acting as broker, all loans will be provided by third parties authorised by third party lenders. The loans will not appear on FairFX’s balance sheet and there will be no credit risk for the Group.

“Having achieved this regulatory status, following significant investment in its digital banking platform in 2018 and 2019, the Group expects to launch an innovative, highly digitised revolving credit product in partnership with iwoca – an award-winning specialist lender to SME’s – in the coming months. It is intended that this will help small and medium sized businesses to apply and receive a decision in minutes and immediately receive funds. Business customers will be able to choose to receive funds directly into their account or onto prepaid card, either virtual or physical, which will be issued by FairFX Group under its Mastercard membership. With the benefit of FairFX’s membership of Faster Payments, funds could be spent directly and immediately; for instance, in cases where stock needs to be purchased or an urgent invoice be settled.” The Company said in its statement.

In response to this update, Managing Director of Banking Products at FairFX, Adam Rigler, commented:

“I am delighted to be able to make this announcement as it is a key milestone on our journey to offering a full range of services to our customers. We now have a clear road ahead to roll out our card-based revolving credit product in the near future, which will radically simplify the process of applying for a receiving funds for a small or medium sized business.”

Investor notes

The Company’s shares are currently trading down 1.21% or 1.5p at 123p per share as of Thursday afternoon 27/06/19 14:56 GMT. As of the end of June, the Company’s P/E ratio stands at 71.10.

Elsewhere in the e-banking and fintech sector, there are updates from; PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL), Nationwide (LON: NBS) and Klarna Bank.

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Senior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Also a contributing writer at the Investment Observer, UK Property Journal and UK Startup Magazine. Postgraduate of King's College London with a specialisation in Business Ethics. Interested in Development Economics and David Hume.