The Clash of FinTech Leadership in The Post-Brexit Era


Who will eventually win the fintech battle in the post-Brexit Era?

As the post-Brexit era is approaching, the competition to attract talents and funds is increasingly becoming fierce.

Indeed, on one side European countries set to lead the pack in the financial services arena in a competitive bid to London’s leadership while the UK Government announces a series of initiatives to not lose ground.

It was Goldman Sachs to set the scenario naming Frankfurt and Paris as post-Brexit hubs for financial services as Goldman’s chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, told Le Figaro:

(…) we won’t have a single hub, but two – Frankfurt and Paris because they are the two biggest European economies … In the end, it’s the people who will largely decide where they prefer to live.

Goldman Sachs CEO, Lloyd Blankfein made the case for the post-Brexit scenario stating that the bank will relocate a number of employees from London to Frankfurt and Paris: “I can imagine that many Americans would prefer living in Paris than Frankfurt for various reasons.”

Then, the European Commission set out a plan for promoting the digital transformation of the industry including the establishment of an EU laboratory.

Italy added to the scene by setting up the sector’s first trade association, ItaliaFintech. Their spokesperson, Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula, told Oliver* in this exclusive interview:

Milan can play a pivotal role for fintech (…) as it offers global education and a mature and innovative business environment not to mention on one side the traditional finance know-how and, on the other, top class IT expertise.

Italy’s business and financial capital is undergoing a resurgence as the city is looking at a “niche strategy” addressed at private equity, asset management and fintech to take the lead in post-Brexit Europe, the FT writes. Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula (pictured above) leads the sector’s first trade association, ItaliaFintech.

Now France promises to become the first European jurisdiction to create specific utility token rules, whilst Enterprise Ireland, the  government organisation responsible for the development and growth of Irish enterprises in world markets, launched a €750,000 Competitive Start Fund for Fintech and Deep Tech start-ups and SMEs.

Minister of State for Financial Services, Michael D’Arcy T.D., said:

With Ireland being the fourth largest exporter of financial services in the world, developing and supporting the Fintech sector is a national priority. As the home to one of the most important financial services centres in the EU and one of the world’s largest concentrations of technology companies, Ireland combines the technical and financial expertise that global fintech buyers seek. The new competitive start fund is a key action of the Department of Finance’s IFS 2020 Action Plan for 2018 and will provide a new funding stream, critical for early stage start-up funding for fintech and deep tech companies.

Theresa May (pictured above) announced a series of initiatives designed to attract more foreign fintech professionals to work for UK start-ups.

However, UK government is not sitting back  as they announced a series of initiatives designed to attract more foreign fintech professionals to work for UK start-ups. In particular, a new £2.5 billion British Patient Capital programme, which is expected to attract a further £5 billion in private investment.

Moreover,  two new Tech Hubs will be launched in Brazil and South Africa, to build innovative partnerships and develop skills, capability and business networks in these markets. Lastly, they announced that a new Start-Up Visa for entrepreneurs will launch in Spring 2019.

The UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, claimed:

It’s a great time to be in tech in the UK, and our modern Industrial Strategy will drive continued investment, ensuring the nation flourishes in the industries of the future and creating more high-paying jobs.

Who will eventually win the fintech battle? It’s difficult to say. What it could be pointed out is that traditional bias could affect the game.

Indeed, if on one side the UK is forced in finding a solution to retain and attract new entrepreneurs in what could be defined as a pure entrepreneurial country, by contrast Europe cannot rely on such a tradition and could lack in vision.

The European Fintech Alliance (EFA) accusing the European Commission of leaving start-ups out in the cold as they included just one fintech member in a new experts group of 14 could confirm this.

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