While the global fintech market has undeniably exploded in the recent years, it is also indisputable that London remains its biggest and most attractive player. Indeed, the UK fintech market has grown fast that it now deserves a juxtaposition with that of the US, the largest fintech player in the world.
However, experts believe that London is ahead in many aspects not just of Silicon Valley but also of the rest of the fintech markets across the globe.
"Silicon Valley cant compete with London in terms of Fintech, as Wall Street Talent doesnt come to Silicon Valley, remarked UK Treasury special Fintech envoy Eileen Burbidge. "[The] collaboration between the ecosystems of finance, technology and government is unique to the UK and cant be replicated in the US.
But fintech execs themselves are saying that Londons nascent market of fast-growing finance startups is not just about innovation and revolutionary ideas. The newness being offered by these so-called insurgents will end up useless had the existing regulation on the market were similar to that of other countries, which is often labeled as unreasonably strict and daunting.
InLondon, there is a greater support for emerging fintech startups like ours, on all levels,from government, capital markets, through to those simply wishing to provide advice and mentorship.I dare say others will be tempted to make the move to friendly waters, Lend2Fund co-founder Paul Missio said as he explained why he chose not to set up operations in its home country Australia.
With friendlier regulation that allow fintech innovators to introduce changes in the banking realm, London has somewhat become a poster child of the global fintech boom. There are now over 44,000 fintech workers in the UK's business center, a number that continues to grow, snatching workers from various tech hubs across the globe, including theUS' Silicon Valley.
This has now encouraged many countries like Australia and Japan to overhaul their existing finance regulations, believing that a more open business milieu would bring their countries closer to what is currently happening in Londonor even in the rest of the European region. The boom has already created a new culture wherein banks are forced to befriend these fintech firms in order for them to cope with the fast-evolving trend, which is incontestably playing in favor of the smaller innovators.
"We must clearly define and articulate a single vision for fintech in Australia to strengthen our position and become competitive at a regional and global level. This vision should address four key areas: regulation, capital, people, and customers," wrote Australian finance writer Stuart Stoyan.
Londons quickly blossoming financial technology market has gone so big that it has attracted even other industries.
Ignoring this trend is like denying that theres actually big happening there [in London], which is nothing different from watching great opportunities slip out of your hand, Adrian Beeston, co-director of shell investment firm SilverFalcon Plc (SILF:LN) said.
Thats why we chose London. We have seen many new market sprang over the years, but Londons different. It has all the qualities that we think are absent from Silicon Valley or Singapore or Japanone is accommodating and encouraging regulation which gives way to more customer-centric innovations.
These unique traits will be the game changer in the continuously growing market. Indeed, the recent boom in London has already encouraged nearby cities to up their respective games. Other UK cities such as Edinburgh, Manchester, Leeds, and Birmingham are slowly catching investors attention for its friendly fintech environment.
Now that big banks are admitting that they should take a look at Londons fintech market to maintain their dominance, and as the fintech revolution slowly inch towards Asia, there is no denying that it could create a positive trend that would solely benefit customers in the long run. If every market regulation becomes as open, accommodating, and collaborative as that of London, then everyone can say that this nascent market is here to stay. Hence, disruption of old, unfriendly business models will continue. And it is good, as it would open more doors to customers, the real reason why these financial institutions existand continue to flourishin the first place.