Brexit and Fintech – Fintexit




There’s been a lot of talk about Brexit over the past couple of years. There has, and people have been getting sick and tired of all the talk. None more so than the prime minister, who got so tired of all the talk he decided the best idea was to cancel democracy.

That is a bold move, and did it work? Not really, people are still talking about Brexit.

What I haven’t heard people talk about so much is Fintexit. Well, that’s because you’ve just made that word up.

Possibly. In fact, the conversation of how Brexit will affect fintech has been going on for some time.

Just no-ones had the foresight to portmanteau the portmanteaus? No. That takes real vision. The sort of vision that hasn’t been on display during the past two years of political excrement throwing.

So, how is Fintexit shaping up? Interestingly, not as overtly negatively as its parent portmanteau.

Hang on, a no-deal Brexit would see a return of the booze cruise, bagging folk cheap beer and fags. I mean, yeah, sure, cheap beer and fags are nice. But the recession and plunging house prices probably weigh the other end of the scale to tipping point.

Hmm, yes, they probably do. But the fintech and Brexit scale is less blatantly skewed.

How comes? Simply put, finance is not an industry that is always so inextricably linked to close trade and political ties with Europe.

So we can have cheap beer and fags and fintech as well? That’s not the message to take away from this conversation. But, investment in British fintech has not cooled since the referendum result. In fact, in the first 6 months of 2019, British fintechs attracted a record £3 billion in investment. More than anyone else in Europe.

Well, that’s exciting. On top of that, the UK has a pretty innovative regulatory system. In fact, Sarah Hall, an academic from the University of Nottingham, said that the UK fintech sector has a “regulatory regime that facilitates innovation and this could see an acceleration after Brexit if the U.K.”

No-deal Brexit here we come. Let’s nip that idea in the bud now. That’s what Jacob Rees-Mogg wants you to think.

Bloody hell, then it’s clearly a terrible thought. I’ll cut that right out. Fintexit doesn’t hinge alone on regulation. Attracting talent is another major facet of Britain’s booming fintech scene.

And Fintexit could stall the influx of that talent? You got it. Up to a fifth of skills used by the UK’s fintech scene have come from the EU. Cheap beer and fags can’t offset the loss of international expertise working in areas such as machine learning, AI and blockchain.

No, cheap beer and fags wouldn’t plug the gaping hole in our fintech scene. They would not. Alongside that a general climate of anxiety surrounding Brexit will only encourage companies to look elsewhere. In January, TransferWise applied for a money-transfer license in Brussels, to cement European operations in the face of Brexit uncertainty.

Bloody Brussels, taking our jobs and our unicorn startups. There’s a lot to unpack in that statement. For starters, TransferWise was founded by two Estonian blokes…

 

Register for FinTech Connect on 3–4 December at ExCeL, London.

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