This article was written by Tom Higgins, CEO of Gold-i.
Whilst I think the Brexit outcome is a terrible one – particularly for the future of the young people in our country who are more international and feel more European than previous generations – I don’t think the decision will negatively impact the thriving fintech sector in London.
Our fintech industry is not driven by having clients here but by the pool of talent we have in the UK. People who work in the fintech industry choose to live in or close to London for a number of different reasons – above all, because it’s a great place to live, with a wealth of culture on our doorstep. It also has the advantage that we are in a better time zone for global business than other countries, even other European countries.
Whilst some banks may choose to relocate, I don’t think the technologists who are suppliers to these banks will need to move to be closer to them. Despite the Brexit decision, the environment in which the technologists have chosen to live won’t change dramatically– so there is no reason that the fintech industry needs to find a new capital.
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It’s also worth noting that, unlike other sectors in the UK, the fintech sector hasn’t benefited from EU money. This means that we aren’t going to suffer from missing out on EU grants. We will continue to find funding to drive innovation forward, largely through private investors
In my view, the biggest issue which could potentially hamper growth is recruitment. Hopefully, a points-based system will be adopted in the UK, such as that used in Australia, to enable us to continue to fill skills gaps by attracting educated, talented employees from outside the UK. A new points-based system may involve more work for recruiters but it is certainly worth putting in the extra effort required.
I am a firm believer that with adversity comes opportunity. Provided we have the wealth of talent in London to enable the fintech sector to prosper, the weakening pound may end up creating even more opportunities, making our UK exports even more attractive to a global audience. Let’s hope that’s the case….