A survey of 100 executives in the UK financial services industry finds that 92% believe that the country has the ability to become the worldwide leader in financial technology (fintech).
According to the poll, conducted by an independent research firm for recruitment specialist Robert Half Financial Services UK, only 6% of financial executives are pessimistic about the UK’s ability to become the global hub of the fintech market.
Participants were also asked, “In your opinion, which centre is the greatest competition to London becoming the fintech leader of the world?” New York was rated as the most likely contender, named by 35% of financial services executives, followed by Hong Kong (15%) and Frankfurt (14%).
The study also identified challenges that could hold the UK back from earning the top spot. The greatest barriers cited were 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 was also cited, with 28% of survey respondents suggesting this could hold back the UK’s fintech ambitions.
“Fintech has moved beyond a buzzword phase and is now recognised as a rapidly maturing market,” said Luke Davis, vice-president, Robert Half Financial Services UK.
“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.”
The top five sectors Asian fintech investors are interested in are data analytics, blockchain, lending, payments and regtech, according to Gary Hwa, EY regional managing partner.
On the third day of the Singapore Fintech Festival conference, there was a focus on specific applications of fintech innovation. One was trade finance, which is clearly is ripe for a revolution.
Kicking off day two of the Singapore Fintech Festival, Deloitte Chairman David Cruikshank said that fintech is significant for three reasons. First, customer expectations of services are higher than ever. Second, barriers to entry are lower than before. And finally, financial institutions (FIs) face a threat of what a competitor might do.
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