London Fintech Week 2019 brought together the leading minds and leading companies in Fintech from around the world to discuss the current and future climate of Fintech.
Investments in Fintech have gone from the thousands into the hundreds of millions in just a few years with a 33% growth in investment in 2018 alone. Fintech is one of the fastest growing investment markets in the world and it’s easy to see why!
There was a distinct focus on blockchain technologies and the emergence of companies using the blockchain to store and transact data. This is primarily due to the decreased transaction cost and complete record of activity available when using the blockchain. With this, it was astounding how many companies were building or offering a coin or token as part of their product gamification.
With businesses collecting and interacting with increasing amounts data every day, the large majority did not have a defined data strategy. For a sector with technology so deeply engrained in its DNA, it was alarming how many admitted their data was still heavily siloed with no clear plan to rectify. This was a common theme across many of the keynotes over the two days.
There are now 17 unicorns in London alone, this rose from 13 last year. The large majority of these operate in the Fintech space. There is no doubt this is a high-growth, high-investment sector. For those who are alarmed by the increasing number of mythical creatures roaming the streets of London, a unicorn is a privately-owned company which is worth $1bn or more.
Of course, regulation is never far away in the financial industry. An interesting point was raised about the difference between traditional and challenger banks is not actually their technology but is the regulators. We may be slightly naive towards the innovation happening in the big banks however, their ability to implement may be slower. Nonetheless, the tech powerhouses are still dodging regulation in one way or another and there is a call for global regulation to move towards transparency and greater governance.
Taking a step back, the whole week was fantastically organised, on schedule and a great learning experience. With so many great minds in one room magical things are bound to happen so, a massive thank you should go out to all organisers, volunteers and exhibitors who made it happen!