London to become the world’s leading fintech hub, according to survey

Financial services executives confident in London’s ability to become the world leader in FinTech

  • 92% of UK financial services executives are confident in the UK’s potential to become the world leader in financial technology (FinTech)
  • Greatest barriers to the UK achieving this position identified as a lack of investment in technology innovation (44%) and a lack of skilled professionals (44%)
  • UK executives identified New York as London’s biggest competitor in becoming the world’s FinTech hub

The vast majority (92%) of UK-based financial services leaders believe that the UK has the ability to become the worldwide leader in financial technology (FinTech), according to new research from leading recruitment specialist Robert Half Financial Services UK. Only six per cent of financial executives are not confident in the UK’s ability to become the global hub of the FinTech market.

When it comes to challenging London as the world’s FinTech capital, American cities rank highly, with New York rated as the most likely competitor by 35% of financial services executives. Hong Kong ranked second with 15% of financial services professionals named it is a contender, followed by Frankfurt, cited by 14% of respondents.

UK-based senior financial services executives were asked, “In your opinion, which centre is the greatest competition to London becoming the financial technology (FinTech) leader of the world?” Their responses:

New York
Hong Kong
San Francisco

The study also identified the challenges that could hold the UK back from earning the top spot. The greatest barriers were identified as a lack of investment in technology innovation (44%) and a lack of skilled professionals (44%). Other barriers identified include a lack of the perceived “Silicon Valley culture of innovation” cited by more than a third (36%) of financial services executives. Industry regulation could still provide a stumbling block, with 28% of those surveyed believing this could be a barrier to the UK’s FinTech ambitions.

Luke Davis, Vice-president, Robert Half Financial Services UK commented: ‘FinTech has moved beyond a buzzword phase and is now recognised as a rapidly maturing market. Increasingly companies operating in this industry are finding themselves competing for talent with established players in both the banking and IT sectors. The rise of challenger banks and FinTech start-ups creates more opportunities for skilled financial services professionals looking towards greater opportunities outside of the industry.

‘When attracting skilled professionals within the FinTech industry, the key is to use a dynamic resourcing approach with the right mix of innovative and specialised professionals. As the skills shortage continues to tighten, accessing professionals who are not actively looking for jobs can be the solution. Working alongside a specialist recruitment consultancy will support this access to an untapped pool of talent.’

John O’Hara, co-founder and CEO of Taskize, a provider of a communications network for back-office personnel, aimed at increasing the efficiency of processes such as managing exceptions in reconciliation, added:

“This report adds to the evidence that Fintech leadership has consolidated in the UK. Many people don’t realise that London has always led in financial technology and many global banks’ core technology was born here. Fintech firms are driving a new wave of technology that will change the way banks work. Not just for retail transactions but also to make work flow at the heart of their operations. The financial industry should no longer look to themselves for innovation they should be embracing Fintech.”

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