A week of FinTech in London. Fruitful meetings, inspiring talks and visions to establish London as the FinTech capital of Europe. As one of the founding members of the association, Bankable firstly attended the Innovate Finance Global Summit, a two-day-event where we both exchanged with varied visitors in our booth and participated in a panel with our partner Moneyou. We also spent a day discussing FinTech with challenging people at the International FinTech Conference hosted by HM Treasury at the London Tobacco Docks.
FinTech week really aimed to position London as the FinTech capital of Europe, with business leaders and policy makers backing up the same vision. We have heard announcements from policymakers, such as Bank of England, that are currently setting up new FinTech initiatives:
“We have set up a new FinTech hub that will sit at the heart of the Bank, to consider both how the Bank understands and how they apply FinTech, relevantly to its mission,” said deputy governor of Bank of England, Dave Ramsden.
Even the British government revealed their own take on the matter by releasing their first FinTech scenario ever: Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, unveiled a new FinTech strategy as the government is looking to support this fast-growing sector ahead of Brexit. Through the automation of regulatory compliance, they aim at “reducing costs for financial services firms, and removing a key barrier for FinTechs”, Philip Hammond said. He also stated that the United Kingdom is the best place in the world for FinTech companies – and will remain so after Brexit.
Policy makers were not the only ones making strong statements during the week – we listened to and took part in several interesting panels that discussed the future of FinTech (on the topics of Brexit, banking innovation, etc). The overall theme is easily summarised: it was all about collaboration. That is, collaboration between incumbents and FinTechs. We heard the word on every stage, with many of the panellists specifically stating that the ones that succeeded with collaboration and great partnerships are the ones that will succeed in the future. As Megan Caywood, COO and co-founder of Starling Bank said:
“The bank that partner the best will be the winner in the future”.
Also, the Chief Customer and Innovation Officer at Santander UK, Sigridur Sigurdardottir, said that
“[Banks] collaborating with FinTechs and start-ups is very effective; they get resilience and we get speed – with customers at the centre. There are challenges on the way: infrastructure and time-to-market”
The FinTech landscape is getting more mature, as we can see that more and more partnerships are being shaped between banks and FinTechs – something that Deutsche Bank’s Head of Strategic Investments, Richard Smith, also stated:
“We have large technology departments within the bank, but FinTechs bring speed and agility to launch quickly when we may not always have the bandwidth to hire quickly internally. With FinTechs, we are able to work more efficiently.”
Although the talk was about the future of partnerships between incumbents and FinTechs, we did not see many showcases of partnerships that have been fruitful and successful. Therefore, we are even prouder to have been on stage together with our partner Moneyou at the Innovate Finance Global Summit, to talk about trust and collaboration. Our CEO Eric Mouilleron and Liesbeth Righter, CEO of Moneyou, discussed the collaborative economy and who to trust, together with representatives from the Toronto Financial Services Alliance and NorthRow. Eric and Liesbeth elaborated on the key elements that made (and continues to make) the Moneyou-Bankable partnership successful – and hopefully inspired others to work for such rewarding and prosperous partnerships. (If you want to hear more about our partnership, listen to this podcast) As our CEO Eric put it:
“It is not fashionable to be alone these days”.
This week showed that we have an exciting year 2018 ahead of us – and quoting Liesbeth Righter’s conclusion to the panel:
“We do not know what the banking industry is going to develop into. But it is time to start figuring this out”
Eric also wrote an article on the topic of FinTech Nation 2018 that was published just before the event; you can read his article “The Rise of the friendly FinTech” here.
Eric and Liesbeth summarised their panel and the Innovate Finance Global Summit after their panel, listen to their key takeaways in this video.