Post Brexit, London’s reputation as the global Fintech Hub is under siege, and competitors are moving quickly to make the most of the uncertainty surrounding the sector in England.
The French have been the most proactive, but only just. French financial planning lobbyist, Paris Europlace, has made no secret of it’s attempts to steal away financial firms from London, including sending representatives to meet with senior executives and specialist professionals. Likewise, government entity Business France, has been proactive in its campaign espousing the virtues of Paris and the lifestyle advantages of having partnerships on the continent.
Meanwhile in Germany, one senior executive from a Frankfurt based payments platform, said that London had “committed suicide,” as a fintech leader in relation to the Brexit vote. Perhaps spurred on by this comment, the City of Frankfurt has created a hotline for financial institutions that are considering moving their operations outside of Britain.
However, despite enemies knocking on the gates, London is still in a secure position. Certainly, its reputation has taken a significant battering, and investors will no doubt continue to watch nervously, but from a fintech standpoint, there are few cities in the world that can compete geographically. This is simply because, London as a financial hub, offers the, from a financial and banking standpoint, the critical mass necessary for large businesses as well as fintech start-ups to scale at the required rates. It also has a unique sub- ecosystem of entrepreneurialism, combined with an enviable and proactive local investor base. The only other city that could potentially compete, would be New York – but with Silicon Valley sitting on the other side of the United States, it simply doesn’t have the advantages that London does. This means, that, at least for the next decade, any fintech business of global substance will need some form of exposure to the London market. The lead remains London’s to lose.