According to a recent review published by the UK Government, major policy changes and reform in London’s business listing system post-Brexit, is set to trigger a major “digital big bang” here – in an attempt to boost the nation’s already growing fintech industry.
The UK to become a ‘fintech haven’ after Brexit
The February 2021 review went on to discuss the regulatory uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the escalating global competition – both of which may undermine the country’s position as a fintech leader, if no action is taken, that is.
As it stands, the UK is considered a leading nation when it comes to the total number of businesses operating in fintech. However, owing to the complications that followed Brexit, the UK may see lost ground between itself and countries like France and Germany, which it sees essential to establishing new fintech efforts.
The finance and tech sectors have been under a lot of pressure from rivals after the UK’s exit from the EU in the first quarter of 2021 – however, it’s likely that the exit may turn into a rather ‘delicious’ prospect for the UK to build and retain better support from the growing fintech industry.
By 2022, it’s expected that the global fintech revenue will exceed the $300 billion mark – so it’s easy to see why the UK’s is working hard to boost its fintech industry as a means to retain businesses and attract more startups.
Here’s a more in-depth look into how the UK is planning to capitalise on the growing fintech market post-Brexit:
Passport to Fintech
The UK Government plans to use a Visa scheme, targeting fintech professionals to fill ongoing gaps in the sector’s labour force, since Brexit was a leading cause of significant skills being lost to the EU.
The move has been welcomed with open arms by the fintech industry, where many key players had been previously worried about access to skilled workers prior to the Brexit process being concluded. The fintech Visa programme will, hopefully, help the nation retain its place as a hub for fintechs to grow.
Owing to the rampant global competition in the fintech sector, UK cities, especially London, face new competition from EU destinations like Barcelona, Berlin and Amsterdam – which are gaining widespread popularity among fintech professionals who have legal rights to work in the EU.
Crypto asset regulation
Another aspect of the review demanded that the UK revise its approach to how crypto assets are regulated, in order to welcome more fintech businesses in the near future.
Stringent measures by UK regulators, where a ban on the sale of crypto derivatives along with the implementation of an Anti-Money Laundering Register – have both created an unfriendly environment for decentralised financial fintech companies looking to set up their operations in London.
The review suggested that since other markets are making progress in terms of developing crypto-specific regulatory frameworks, the UK should follow suite and revise its stance on crypto-related matters as well, otherwise the competition make take over the tech hub here.
The review also suggested a reduction in the total percentage of public investor shares to avoid interfering with initial sponsors of fintech startups, including dual-share structures – allowing founders to retain complete control over their firms and remain protected from hostile takeovers.
With the ongoing discussions around fintech and friendlier regulations, 2022 is going to be a very important year, as the fight continues to retain fintech talent and keep it from leaving UK shores.