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UK FinTech investment has increased by 500% in the last three years, reveals study

robert waltersA new report from global recruiting firm Robert Walters and market analysis firm Vacancy Soft has revealed that FinTech investment in the UK has increased by 500% in the last three years, as compared to 170% in the USA and 133% in Europe. The report termed “Fintech: Challenger to Competitor.” identified borrowing & lending, messaging & communication and payments as the top three FinTech products that have the potential to be the most popular ones in 2020.

Tom Chambers, Senior Manager – Technology (London) at Robert Walters, commented, “Fintechs were not initially seen as direct ‘competition’ to traditional banks – with their products and services differing vastly. However, over the past 12-18 months, we’ve seen fintech’s apply for banking licenses which means they can now expand their offering to include overdrafts, guarantee deposits, and the ability to set-up direct debits. Perhaps the most drastic change was governments swift action to ‘shake-up’ traditional lending and allow fintech companies to be an official loan provider for the government COVID-19 bailout scheme – introducing fintechs to the masses. As fintechs creep into traditional banking territory, and financial services continue to embed technology into their processes, the sectors stand to become indistinguishable in the next year.”

The report showed that, in Q1, London FinTechs have generated investments worth $114 million, which is almost the same ( $148 million) as they did for the entire year of 2017. The city has received around 80% of the total FinTech funding that comes into Europe. But given the current climate, Tom Chambers states that “Whilst confidence for fintech investment has been high before, we can expect VC’s to be cautious throughout the rest of 2020 and unlike before will shy away from those fintechs that are rapidly running out of capital.” The report also claims that if VCs continue to shy away from FinTechs, the sector will see a 73% drop in investment.

Ben Litvinoff – Business Director at Robert Walters commented, “As normal restrictions on lending are being waived during COVID-19 to enable companies to ride out the crisis, artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key part in enabling the financial services sector to provide simultaneous support to thousands of businesses – at a rate far greater than the capacity of their current underwriting teams. As a result, AI-driven fintech lenders will be the biggest’ winners.”

The report has also revealed that the UK remained an attractive hub for FinTechs, despite Brexit and has seen a rise in vacancies since 2018, with a 16% increase in 2019. London saw a +31% since 2017. The study also pointed out the concentration of VC funding in London as compared to other regions.

Ahsan Iqbal, Director of Technology (Regions) at Robert Walters said, “If the government are serious about levelling up the country to catch up with London, then serious thought needs to be given into how and why London based businesses remain so much more attractive to VC’s. Work is already being done in Birmingham with HS2 and within Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool to grow the Northern Powerhouse…”

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