With an abundance of digital innovation, a responsive regulatory environment, renowned financial services infrastructure, its position as a global trading hub, and its access to pan-European, US and Asian investors (to just name a few!), it’s no wonder that the London fintech startup scene is truly booming. With a London fintech startup sprouting left, right and centre, fintech compliance is directly in the limelight.
The London financial technology market attractiveness is confirmed with research from Fintech Week London showing that UK financial technology firms secured $5.4bn of the $49.7bn of global investment in financial tech between 2010 and 2015, compared with the total $4.4bn raised across the rest of Europe.
Regulatory Environment and Government Investment
London’s regulatory environment has been instrumental in driving growth in the financial technology industry. Recent initiatives include a ‘regulatory sandbox’, implemented by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) that allow businesses to test out new financial products and services without incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of engaging in those activities.
The financial technology industry in London is also bolstered by government investment as last year’s summer budget saw George Osborne commit to funding to boost the UK’s Digital Economy scheme, and before he left office David Cameron spoke about a commitment to making the UK a world leader in fintech by 2020.
London Fin Technology Scene
Other notable benefits of being a London fintech Startup include the city’s well-established advisory sector, strong venture capital base, tax breaks for start-ups, the number of high-profile accelerator programmes, abundance of VCs and talented people with a finance background, along with a large sophisticated customer base.
London is also home to some 40,000 financial services firms, most of the world’s top banks and a bustling startup scene. The UK have employed over 61,000 people within the fintech startup industry and therefore are the second highest employers for financial technology in the world, according to Fintech Compliance. All of these factors come together to make London a difficult city to beat for financial technology opportunities.
Fintech Compliance Checks
However, it seems there is still a gap in financial technology companies’ knowledge of the legal and regulatory requirements they face, and they are inadvertently cutting corners, putting their business at risk. Ensuring the appropriate fintech compliance checks are in place is imperative to a company’s success as a fintech startup comes largely under the regulatory radar.
McKinsey report that one of the ‘six markers of fintech success’ is managing risk and regulatory stakeholders. Those that ignore this dimension of building a successful business and do not ensure they have they appropriate fintech compliance checks do so at their own peril, as regulatory tolerance for lapses on issues such as anti-money-laundering, fintech compliance, credit-related disparate impact, and know-your-customer are low. Those financial technology players that build these capabilities will be much better positioned to succeed than those that do not.Read more