WHEN Ormskirk-based Currency Matters completes its latest expansion its compliance department will be bigger than its sales operation.
Founder Jon Anderson said: “We have worked too hard for too long to mess it up by not paying attention in the areas where it matters.”
A sentiment that would undoubtedly not be lost on the hierarchy at HSBC.
Guarding against money laundering and terrorism financing is a vital element of the compliance operation at the small Swan Alley office in the market town which last year processed a staggering £554m of client transactions and expects to handle almost £900m this current financial year.
When former accountant and Merchant Taylors’ old boy Mr Anderson set up he offered foreign exchange facilities for corporate clients and Brits buying properties abroad.
Ten years on, the business now has a truly global feel. Mr Anderson had just returned from Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil and was preparing for a business trip to Portugal.
From a one-man band – “I was surviving on my wife’s statutory maternity pay at the time and working from home” – the firm now employs 26, and is set to rise to 35 by the year end.
He said: “We are finding a little niche for the payment element of our business.”
Corporate foreign exchange generates 70% of revenues and the growth area is payment services for third parties.
The business is one of the leading authorised payment institutions, regulated by the Financial Services Authority, in the UK.
Mr Anderson explained: “Someone will give us money with payment instructions and we will make the payments on their behalf. They will have been given their instructions by one of their clients.
“On the payments side we deal with high net worth individuals, such as South American footballers, to multi- national import and export operations.”