Bux boss questions need for London office in light of hard Brexit

By John Reynolds on Friday 13 November 2020

Alternative Lending

Nick Bortot was speaking on a panel yesterday at the AltFi Finance Festival, where he and the panel discussed the Amsterdam fintech scene.

Bux boss questions need for London office in light of hard Brexit
Image source: Nick Bortot (bottom-left) spoke at the AltFi Festival of Finance.

The CEO of Amsterdam-based mobile trading app Bux has questioned the value of having a UK office if the UK crashes out of the EU without a trade deal, however, the trading platform insisted that it does not intend to pull out of the UK entirely.

Nick Bortot is the CEO and founder of Bux, which has around 130 staff, split between nearly 100 in Amsterdam and 30 in London.

Speaking at yesterday’s AltFi Festival of Finance, Bortot said: “If Brexit is going to be a hard Brexit then for us, for example, the European passport is very, very important. And then London is just not an option.”

It is still unclear if the UK will strike a trade deal with the EU, as the end to the transition position draws to a close at the end of the year and Brexit becomes a reality.

Bortot was speaking on a panel along with Ali Niknam, the founder of Dutch fintech Bunq and Olivier Guillaumond, global head of innovation labs and fintechs at Dutch bank ING.

Niknam said he considered London as the headquarters for Bunq.

Niknam said: “Frankly, and this might not be a popular voice, but frankly, it doesn’t make any sense to be in London if it’s not going to be part of the European system.”

The panel discussed the virtues of fintechs being based in Amsterdam and whether offices are important in a post-Covid world.

Niknam said that Bunq, which also has an office in Bulgaria, said the pandemic had zero detrimental impact on the business.

“But at the same time, the office for many employees of Bunq, is like a clubhouse,” said Niknam.

"It is somewhere where we get together, it’s somewhere where we share dinner, it’s somewhere where we share lunch, it’s somewhere where we share drinks, it’s where creativity flows.”

He said office culture was so important that, despite Covid-19, Bunq was looking at opening new offices in the near future.

UPDATE 13-11-20202 - This article was updated to better reflect BUX's position in the UK in the event of a hard Brexit.

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