How we work to keep your money safe and available at Wise

Wise

For our customers sending money with Wise or holding money in the Wise account in the US, regardless of which currency you hold and in keeping with US state obligations, we protect our customers’ funds in a mix of cash in leading commercial banks and investments in secure liquid assets, primarily government bonds.

We also keep your money separate from the money we use to run our business. For more information on how Wise safeguards funds see here.

Here’s an overview of where we predominantly hold customer money in the US:

TypeInstitution
Cash DepositGOLDMAN SACHS BANK USA
Cash DepositJPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.
Cash DepositWELLS FARGO BANK, N.A.
Secure Liquid Assets US Government bonds

Over 99% of funds are held in cash with these banks as well as in secure liquid assets such as EU, UK and US Government bonds in order to diversify risk and maximise liquidity. We take this approach to make sure your money is highly liquid and therefore always available to you.

We limit the term-to-maturity of any US Government bonds we buy to 2 years or less and the average duration of funds held as US Government bonds is less than 6 months.

Why we hold some customer money in bonds

Holding money in government assets is generally less risky than holding your money in a bank account, because banks can become insolvent but stable governments rarely do. For a government bond to fail, the government which issued the bond would need to default on their loan payments, which almost never happens with large stable governments.

Customer money is held in cash or bonds with a term of less than 3 years. The average duration of the bonds we hold is currently under 6 months – with the majority of bonds having a remaining term of 3 months or less.This makes us generally more resilient than banks in the face of interest rate changes. We actively manage the fair value risk in relation to these and any impact is already reflected in our financial position.

We hold your money in shorter-term bonds because bonds with a longer-term can lose value if interest rates go up and they need to be sold early. These bonds can be sold if additional liquidity is required, but with available cash holdings at banks, this is generally not expected. For the money that we put into banks, we mitigate the risk by diversifying across several reputable banks with strong liquidity.

We are not a bank, which means we do not lend out our customers’ money to people or businesses. It also means our money transfer service and Wise account balances where you have not opted into interest are not subject to FDIC insurance.

If you’ve opted-in to earn interest on your Wise account, you are able to take advantage of FDIC passthrough insurance on your USD balance up to $250,000. If you would like to opt-in you can learn more about how your money is held here.

How we keep your money available to you even during market turmoil

In order to mitigate against bank risk, we hold a significant percentage of funds in government bonds, as set out above, which would not be impacted by bank runs.The rest of the funds are held in banks in order to provide readily available liquidity, but diversified amongst several large highly rated banks. These are listed above.

We keep our holdings under regular review to ensure the safety and availability of customer funds.


This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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