The Brexit Impact on Fintech

In terms of Brexit news in general, personally I was shocked of the results. I did not expect the majority of the UK to vote “Leave”. We are living in a globalised society where social connectivity does not recognise any borders and is fair to say that “business” is operating in this space too, with UK and EU at the centre of the global trade.

I guess “we are where we are” with voting, the people have spoken. Now it is up to UK government, society, businesses & fintech community to pull together and make this reality a success from the UK, EU & Global trade prospective. Let’s face it, this decision affected everyone not only people living and working in UK, as we can see from the recent global markets performance.

So what is the Brexit impact on fintech…I guess only time will tell. Businesses in general don’t like surprises or uncertainty and fintech is not exempt. We need to wait and see how the negotiations between the UK and EU progress on the regulatory aspect, movement of people, trade agreement, financial services “passporting”, decreasing value of currency GBP etc…the list goes on. I am confident that an agreement would be in place to benefit both the UK and EU, which makes sense for both parties to move forward.

UK historically has played a crucial role in global finance & trade, and will continue to be a strong financial hub going forward. This is due to its geographic position, language, strong financial infrastructure, investment and capital networks, rich in financial and tech talent, innovative attitude, diverse culture and strong will for success. This cocktail of ingredients makes UK the “Fintech Capital of the World”, and personally I believe it will continue to be going forward even with Brexit challenges.

UK is Open for Business…Brexit or Not
Regarding raising capital, the reality is that capital flows globally. If you, as a business provide real value for investors, they will find a way to connect with you, Brexit or not. Brexit is already having an impact on the UK GBP currency so this might benefit the fintech sector, it would make an appealing investment opportunity for a foreign investor, in comparison to a few months back where the GBP was stronger.

I believe that Brexit would have an impact on the movement of talent especially within the fintech sector. Generally there is a shortage of tech talent and Brexit would make it more difficult to access that talent, however this is still to be seen as the negotiation progresses.

Finally fintech can thrive outside the EU but UK must retain access to the Single Market, financial services “passporting” and to fintech talent, also attract investment and liquidity which is crucial for early stage start-ups.

Tony Xhufi Founder & CEO

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hi @TonyXhufi welcome to Fintech Genome. Don’t forget to put in your picture and bio in profile so we can connect. I agree that once dust settles, companies and individuals will adapt and we may see something like Switzerland (where I live although I am a Brit) but caution from here is that a) took a long time to negotiate all those bilateral deals b) no EU passporting. If you want that, you have to be in an EU country.

My assessment of the impact of #brexit on London’s role is quite a bit less sanguine. At least as far as the EU market is concerned. (Some have argued that there are compensating opportunities for UK fintech elsewhere)

The underlying reason is almost algorithmic and applies even without knowing which specific fintech business models will make it eventually:

  1. As soon as a fintech model succeeds and scales (in the EU) there will be (more) regulation to control the risks involved
  2. That regulation will be EU-centric (along the lines of the banking union etc.) and will ultimately bind this new financial fabric to existing social / risk sharing contracts within and among EU countries
  3. UK fintech will be at a (potentially huge) disadvantage having little influence and bearing the full cost of complying with said regulation

Barring unforeseen white swans, the role of London in the European financial system has just taken its second hard blow. You can find a longer writeup here.

Philippos Papadopoulos, Founder OpenRisk

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