London tops list for fintech innovation

28 Sep 2016 04:11 PM

A report unveiled at Sibos names London number one hotspot for fintech around the world.

A new report from Deloitte has found that London stands equal with Singapore in the rankings for world cities at the forefront of fintech. London is praised as having ‘the 'fin' of New York, the 'tech' of the US West Coast and the policymakers of Washington, all within a 15 minute journey on public transport’.

The report was unveiled at Sibos, the global finance summit being held in Geneva this week, and brings together research from the World Bank, academics and analysts. It has been put together by the Global Fintech Federation Hub, a consortium of industry bodies recently established to promote the interests of the industry globally.

Since the UK’s vote to leave the EU, there have been gloomy predictions that fintech companies will look to relocate to other cities where pass-porting rights for their services into the EU remain assured. But one of the main drivers identified by the report is the supportive regulatory regime in the UK fostered by the Treasury, the Financial Conduct Authority’s Project Innovate and, more recently, the fintech accelerator initiative from the Bank of England. The forward-looking policy aims and guidance on regtech, use of cloud data and the facilitation of access to infrastructures to challenger banks has done much to entice fintech to the UK capital.

Behind London and Singapore in the rankings, are New York in third place, Silicon Valley in fourth and Hong Kong in fifth place. European cities, which have been reportedly angling for London-based business since the referendum, were much further down the listings with Frankfurt in 8th place, Ireland joint 12th with Holland and France in 13th place.

The report’s prognosis for the future is bright: ‘Over the next 12 months the UK will forge greater global fintech connections to support the developed ecosystem in the UK. Fintech is global and UK fintech firms have global ambitions which require global capital, talent and partnerships to ensure long term success.’ Nevertheless, London will have to be vigilant to maintain its top place as a hotspot for fintech companies whose choice of location depends on a complex climate of innovation, regulatory support and access to necessary financing.