How Will Brexit Affect The UK Fintech Sector?

by | 1st November 2016 | Brexit, Fintech |

How Will Brexit Affect The UK Fintech Sector?

Last week we saw data that proved the UK economy grew by 0.5 per cent in the three months after the Brexit vote, despite warnings that a vote to leave would plunge the UK into recession.

However, we are not out of the woods yet.

By March the government will begin the Brexit negotiations by invoking Article 50, and safeguarding our financial services industry will be vital to the governments strategy.

According to the former Director General of the CBI, Sir Richard Lambert, the financial services sector provides one in 14 jobs in the UK, and helps to finance the organisations that millions of others work for.

When analysing the future of the UK fintech sector here are three ways that Brexit will have an effect.

1) Passporting:

Current passporting legislation is allowing international banks to access European markets whilst being based in London or anywhere in the UK.

With a vote to leave though, access to the European Single Market is now coming into question.

If this access is restricted it’s likely that the financial services industry will be required to have passporting agreements both in the UK and in Europe, effectively separating their operations.

Recently the Chief Executive of the British Banking Association, Anthony Browne, has warned that international banks are already organising contingency plans in case the Brexit negotiations don’t protect rules related to financial services.

While he didn’t claim that banks would pull out of the UK fully, the Brexit negotiations are a serious concern for the industry.

As with every argument however, there is a flipside.

Figures released on 20 th September show that of the 13,484 firms using passporting, 8,008 are on inbound passports, meaning they are using the right to do business in the UK from another EU or EEA member state.

Taking this argument into account, surely the financial sector in the EU has as much to lose from the loss of UK passporting as we do?

2) Regulation:

With membership of the EU comes the ability to scrutinise and amend European-wide legislation.

The PSD2 regulation coming into force over the coming years will affect the financial technology industry greatly, and our membership of the European Union has meant that our elected officials have been able to provide representations at the intergovernmental level, ensuring that the regulation works as best as possible for UK fintech businesses.

Brexit will mean that the UK loses access to the top table, and that, because any future legislation affecting the industry will be decided by member states only, the UK will have no say on the affect of future legislation.

3) Investment:

Over previous years the UK, and London in particular, has become a hub for fintech companies.

Investment in the industry has been huge, with last year reportedly seeing a rise to $901m, but there are fears that Brexit will see this funding dry up.

In an article for Business Insider, Tom Blomfield, co-founder and CEO of start-up bank Mondo, said that whilst technology investors are happy with technology and market risk, they aren’t as happy with regulatory and political risk.

However, with last week’s commitment by Nissan to invest in the UK market, there may be light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to investments.

The Nissan deal shows that the government is signalling that Britain is still open for business. There may yet be future fintech support from government to ensure increased investment in this industry too.

It is clear that there are significant risks as the UK withdraws from the European Union, but the real facts are that at the moment we don’t know what Brexit will look like.

The new Prime Minister, Theresa May, is keeping her cards close to her chest.

Once Article 50 is triggered, and we begin the Brexit negotiations, we will know more about the affects on the UK fintech industry.

In a sector where you need certainty, Trusek is providing a powerful and reliable fintech solution for businesses across the spectrum, from charities to banks.

Our consultative approach is gaining traction in an industry becoming increasingly crowded.

If you would like to get in touch with us for more information about how we can help with your banking platform or proposition, whether an established bank, an emerging bank, a community bank, a credit union or even a new concept bank, email hello@trusek.com or call 020 7048 0470

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