Cornerstone FS plc (AIM: CSFS), the cloud-based provider of international payment, currency risk management and electronic account services to SMEs, announces that the Group’s primary operating subsidiary, FXPress Payments Services Ltd (“FXPress”), has been approved by the Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution (“AEMI”), effective 4 August 2021. This allows the Group to broaden its product offering and enables it to act as a participant in the UK’s Open Banking Initiative as an Account Servicing Payment Service Provider, in line with the Group’s stated strategy.
The AEMI designation upgrades FXPress from its previous status as an Authorised Payment Institution and increases its capital adequacy requirement to €350,000. As an AEMI, the Group can issue electronic money and allow clients to leave money on account – effectively providing them with multi-currency currency accounts and e-wallet functionality. FXPress’s designation as an AEMI also supplants the more limited licence it holds in Avila House as a Small EMI, which is restricted to holding an overall e-money balance that does not exceed an average of €5 million.
In addition, this new authorisation will enable the Group to develop further products and services that take advantage of the UK’s Open Banking Initiative, which is designed to drive innovation and competition in UK banking services through the secure and transparent sharing of financial information. This supports the Group’s previously stated strategic aim of creating a broad portfolio of technology-enabled cross border payment and foreign currency services.
Julian Wheatland, Chief Executive Officer of Cornerstone, said: “The receipt of this full e-Money licence by FXPress represents an important milestone for Cornerstone and the achievement of another of the strategic goals that we set out at our IPO. It will enable us to allow customers to hold and retain funds in their multi-currency account as well as expand our offering by developing new products and services that leverage the UK’s Open Banking Initiative. We look forward to continuing to build on these strengthened foundations to achieve our aim of delivering transformational growth.”