The UK is running away with its fintech growth and investment in comparison with the rest of the world. Along with Ireland, Britain has seen investment in the financial services technology more than triple in the last year, according to a recent report released by Accenture.
The figures reveal that investment in technology in the UK and Ireland increased from $264 million to $623 million in the space of 12 months, and that equates to 42% of the total investment throughout Europe. A vast proportion of this investment went into fintech projects.
With London’s Silicon Roundabout now an established hive of technological creativity, most fintech projects can be found there. But Ireland’s International Financial Services Center also boasts some very high profile fintech firms, perhaps most notably CurrencyFair, which is a peer-to-peer foreign exchange marketplace. Last year it handled over $1 billion in transfers, and recently received an investment of $10.7 million after a round of funding implemented by Octopus Investments.
It’s companies such as CurrencyFair that have created the huge momentum we now see in both Ireland and the UK, and for high profile investors, it would seem all eyes are pointed towards the next fintech opportunity.
The Conservatives – love them or hate them – have got behind tech in the UK massively, with schemes such as SEIS helping aid the growth of the startup sector, and particularly new tech projects. And with the support structure now in place, combined with a huge number of experienced financial professionals implementing their ideas in various fintech projects, I don’t see anything but huge growth and opportunity for fintech in the UK as we move forward.
The fintech sector has bucked the trend in many ways, but of most significance is the fact that the sector continued to see growth in the face of a period of recession, whereas other sectors found demand drop, and many companies struggled to stay afloat. It is all very encouraging for those involved in the revolutionary movement set to change banking and financial services for good.
Far East Interest
International investors, particularly those from East Asia and the US have been forced to sit up and take notice of the fintech opportunities arising in London and Dublin right now, and far be it for me to proclaim the sector an unstoppable juggernaut, the future is far too difficult to predict, but it’s certainly a freight train with a very real amount of momentum right now.