Minister: UK FinTech’s “natural home”

First London-hosted International FinTech Conference hailed as success by government – but some say Brexit’s a definite cloud on the horizon

Posted 13 April 2017 at 9:30am by

Positive reaction to its special FinTech (financial technology) ‘FinTech 2017 Week‘ conference this week organised by the Department for International Trade and the Treasury is being framed by the government as a sign of London’s resilience post-Brexit.

“This conference has been a showcase and a celebration of an industry that has done so much to contribute to this country’s knowledge, skills and expertise, enhancing the UK’s status as a global financial centre,” said Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Liam Fox in his closing remarks to the get-together, which included exhibition space for 100 of the country’s top FinTech firms.

“We should meet the future with confidence,” he added, pointing out that 61,000 people are employed in the UK in the emerging sector by an industry that generates over £6.6bn in revenue every year.

The Secretary also believes the UK is “ranked number one globally for the strength of our FinTech ecosystem, outpacing rival centres in Singapore and Silicon Valley”.

He also claimed FinTech’s success is spreading across the United Kingdom, as commercial centres from Edinburgh to Manchester attract leading incubators and accelerators, “helping start-ups across the UK and the world gain access to our FinTech industry”.

“Britain stands ready to help the industry realise every opportunity to expand and grow,” he added, telling delegates that, “There is no better place on earth to start, or expand, a financial technology business” than the UK, which is “its natural home, and from here, there is nothing it cannot achieve”.

However, not everyone’s as ebullient as Fox, according to the BBC.

With its headline of “London ‘not the best place’ for fintech start-ups”, FinTech entrepreneur Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of Transferwise, said Brexit was making it hard to source talent: “There is a lot uncertainty and uncertainty doesn’t help business.

“So for starting up a new fintech company, [London] is not the best place any more.”