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September 15, 2015

Smart money on London, not Silicon Valley, for fintech capital

UK Treasury fintech envoy's hot tips include Nutmeg, Ravelin, Azimo and Funding Circle.

By Alexander Sword

The UK Treasury’s special envoy for fintech, Eileen Burbidge, claims the UK will be the world leader in fintech.

"London is the place this disruption is going to be," she said, speaking at Fintech Week London.

"London and the UK will lead the Fintech sector. It can’t be Silicon Valley, they have produced a few start-ups like Stripe but numbers are tiny compared to the UK."

She commented on the unique circumstances of London, including its role as a financial capital, the interest of government and the presence of a technology hub.

"London and the UK has always been one of the financial capitals of the world. 300 of the world’s largest banks have their headquarters here, over 100,000 people work in the financial services sector.

"£300 billion passes through London every day just on the foreign exchange."

She also cited the "£150 contribution to the UK economy from financial services."

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She claimed that much of this was due to geography, as the central location of GMT allows transactions to be processed in London within the same business day.

Responding to a request for investment tips, Burbidge recommended Nutmeg, Ravelin, Azimo and Funding Circle.

A seasoned tech venture capitalist, Burbidge was appointed as fintech envoy by George Osborne in July in a ‘Productivity Plan’ designed to address complaints that the recent budget had not focused enough on technology.

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