What’s in a name? FinTech was once a quick way of saying Financial Technology, but now it has become an industry in its own right.
Disruptive, dynamic, and capable of attracting large sums of both client and investor money, FinTech has been on the march for some time, and London has acted quickly to establish itself as the leader of the pack.
In 2013 53% of all Europe’s FinTech deals were done in the UK’s Capital, with 69% of all European funding heading to the UK and Ireland.
How does this compare to the US? Silicon Valley still attracts the Lion’s share of FinTech financing, around a third of all funding globally in 2013, whilst the whole of Europe attracted just 15%. Still a long way to go then, but the gap is narrowing and for Londoners there are certainly plenty of grounds for optimism.
One obvious factor is geography. Silicon Valley lies 3,000 miles South West of America’s financial capital, New York, and even in today’s world of conference calls, tele-presence rooms and Skype, proximity and face to face meetings still count for an awful lot.
Within London, broadly speaking there are three main financial centres. The Square Mile, or “City”, think retail fund management, compliance and pensions, Canary Wharf, Investment Banks with front, back and middle offices, and Mayfair, home to private Wealth Management and hedge funds.