Just over a quarter of technology influencers, surveyed by the PR and campaign agency Seven Hills, considered London to be the world’s “fintech hotspot” ahead of U.S cities San Francisco and New York coming in at below 5 per cent.
Respondents believed a combination of the city’s existing financial services infrastructure, access to talent and geographical position was giving London’s fintech scene an edge over the competition – with nearly 40 per cent expecting mobile payments to be the fastest growing sector, followed by peer-to-peer lending at just over a quarter stating.
However it wasn’t just London that was reported to be a fintech hub, 37 per cent of respondents believed Edinburgh was a major contender, with 26 per cent arguing the case for Manchester and 7 per cent for Leeds and Birmingham.
With recent research estimating that the sector is currently worth £20bn to the UK annually, the country’s emerging status as a global fintech leader looks promising.
These survey findings were announced at Fintech 2015, an event which brought together tech start-up founders, investors and fintech experts to discuss opportunities and challenges to the rapidly growing sector over the coming year, saw keynote speeches from several industry leaders including “Silicon Roundabout’s leading angel investor and co-founder of Passion Capital Eileen Burbidge and MarketInvoice co-founder Anil Stocker.
Speaking at the event, Burbidge said: “More and more people are coming to London to work in the fintech space – it’s not just a PR messaging line. Tech people understand that this is where you need to be, take Nutmeg for instance they initially raised funding in America but came to London as the regulatory environment is stronger. Estimates say there’s now around 150,000 people in London working in fintech-related services.
Burbidge added “we have to keep up the talent pool; immigration is a difficult subject in the run up to a general election but it needs to be addressed. We also need more success stories to wave the flag for London’s fintech industry.
“I’m very excited about London’s fintech scene, I’ve been very bullish in the past and said it was recession proof.”