London fintech SteadyPay's Russian ties

(Yui Mok/PA)
PA Archive
City Spy2 minutes ago

If you’re raising funds for a fintech start-up, where better to turn than the former boss of a Russian bank and the ex-finance director of a sports betting firm sanctioned by Ukraine?  

That appears to be the strategy of London-based SteadyPay, which has recruited Oleg Vaksman, the ex-deputy chairman of Gazprombank, and Nykyta Izmaylov, Parimatch’s former CFO, to its board, company filings show.  

The UK, USA and European Union all imposed sanctions against Gazprombank and its associates following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. At Gazprombank, Vaksman is said to have provided personal banking services to VIP clients from Russia’s ruling class elite. Vaksman’s former boss, Gazprom Chairman Alexei Miller, is part of Vladimir Putin’s inner circle and was sanctioned by the British government which ordered a freezing of his assets and imposed a travel ban.   

Meanwhile, betting business Parimatch was sanctioned by Ukraine nine months ago as part of a group of companies accused of profiteering from the war, which it strongly denies.  

The company replaced its CEO, Sergei Portnov, after he gave several interviews before the Ukraine war signalling his intent to gain a strong foothold in the Russian market and break down regulatory barriers there.

Launched in 2018, SteadyPay helps gig economy workers top up their income when they suffer a drop in pay. What about when you suffer a freeze in assets?  

SteadyPay did not respond to a request for comment. 

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