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June 7, 2017

Fintech50: London retains crown as fintech capital of Europe

London remains a fintech powerhouse, despite Brexit fears.

By Ellie Burns

Nothing is stopping the booming fintech scene in London, despite concerns and fears over Brexit and the upcoming General Election. New figures from the annual Fintech50 have revealed that London has retained its status as a global powerhouse for financial technology, with 31 companies calling London their home. This number is up from the 29 London-based companies in 2016 and 24 in 2015.

The annual list of the hottest fintech startups, decided by leaders across industry and boasting big names like Microsoft and Samsung, saw challenger banks Monzo and Atom Bank make the cut for the first time, as well as blockchain startup SETL and money management app Curve. Other London startups in the Fintech50 included Digital Shadows, MarketInvoice, Azimo, Clearscore and Featurespace.

“FinTechs working with banks is a powerful trend, but there is also a new generation of innovators going direct to the consumer in areas such as insurance and financial management,” said Fintech50 founder Julie Lake.fintech50thing

“Noticeably this year, we saw an emerging evangelism for challenger brands from a very important source: their customers. They may not have (anywhere near) the customer volume of traditional providers, but they are winning hearts and minds in a style more often associated with consumer goods.”

London startups also featured heavily in the Fintech50 ‘hot ten’, with six out of ten of the featured companies hailing from London and tagged as ones to watch for the future. These companies included Bud, ClearBank, Cleo, Datasine, Post Quantum and 10xBanking. Another 10 startups were named to the Fintech50 Hall of Fame, including Transferwise, Zopa, Funding Circle and WorldRemit.

Fintech in the UK has continued to defy Brexit fears, with financial giant Barclays recently committing to the growing industry with the launch of Europe’s largest fintech accelerator in Shoreditch, London. The UK has also recently signed fintech deals with other nations, noticeably Canada, with other investments in the area including the FCA opening a fintech route to Hong Kong and the launch of the first fintech university course in the UK.

The government has also pledged to support the ongoing development of the UK fintech scene, with Chancellor Phillip Hammond promising support for the next Transferwise in early April. Writing in The Times ahead of his appearance at the first International FinTech Conference, the Chancellor said:

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“Fintech is changing the way we bank and is one of Britain’s most exciting industries.”

“Brexit will open the doors to new opportunities, with enhanced business relationships, new jobs and more investment, British fintechs must not rest on their laurels but seize the enormous opportunities ahead.”

“There is absolutely no reason why the UK shouldn’t be home to even more start-up fintechs, such as the hugely successful British firms Funding Circle and TransferWise, worth more than $1 billion.”

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