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Payments and credit fintech MarketFinance supporting staff in exodus from Russia

Nearly half of its Russia-based staff are exiting the country and plan to relocate to the UK amid crippling sanctions.

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Anil Stocker/MarketFinance.

Nearly half of a UK fintech’s Russia-based staff are exiting the country and plan to relocate to the UK amid fears the situation “might get worse”.

UK-based MarketFinance is understood to have between 15 and 20 software engineers working in Russia.

The lender does not have an office in Russia, but staff, who have been paid up until the end of May, have continued to work remotely following Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February.

MarketFinance CEO Anil Stocker said nearly half are currently exiting Russia and more could follow amid crippling sanctions levelled on Russia.

Stocker told AltFi: “Of our team there, about 45 per cent are in the process of moving out of Russia and, for them, we are looking to get UK visas.

“But they can’t come immediately to the UK because they haven’t got visas, so they have to go to these interim countries.”

Interim countries include counties bordering or close to Russia, including Georgia and Armenia.

“And we are looking to sponsor them so they can come to the UK,” he added

Russia is facing the prospect of a tech worker exodus amid crippling sanctions, a falling ruble, and the country being deemed a pariah.

Stocker said he is not anticipating any issues in the UK visa process.

“I don’t think it should be any longer than the usual time is. I don’t think it's weeks, but months,” he said.

Stocker said he was unsurprised by the number of MarketFinance’s staff who wanted to leave Russia.

“Clearly it’s not a great environment in Russia at the moment with the sanctions,” he said.

“And they [staff] think the situation might get worse over the next few months.”

He thinks more of MarketFinance’s software engineers might want to leave Russia if things do get worse.

Stocker added: “They are not planning on staying, they are watching to see what happens in the next few months. 

“And I am sure if the situation deteriorates, then I am sure the remainder of them will consider leaving.”

Stocker said MarketFinance is currently recruiting and happy to hear from Russian and Ukrainian workers.

“We want to send the message that we are here to help,” he added.

“It doesn’t have to be to the UK, it could be to any country they want to go to because they can work wherever they want.”

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused a humanitarian crisis, with more than 10m Ukrainians fleeing the country while tens of thousands have also exited Russia, amid sanctions and concerns about their own livelihoods.

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Anil Stocker

CEO and co-founder

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