News last week that Lloyds of London is looking at setting up a subsidiary outside of London again raised the issue of Brexit and the wider economy. There is a renewed determination to closely manage how Brexit will affect both financial services and London’s standing as a global financial hub.
Of course, as the world’s leading insurance market, it is no surprise that Lloyd’s are looking to reduce their Brexit risk exposure and hedge against the Brexit fall-out.
2017 will be a significant year for fintech with both PSD2 and the 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive on the horizon. We have been vocal on PSD2’s implications for the payments and banking sectors, especially in terms of authentication. The 4th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive has to be transposed into national law by June 2017 and it also has significant implication for authentication. Customer due-diligence will now have to take place at casinos, both online and bricks and mortar, for deposits and withdrawals of over €2,000.
We are entering a time when our industry is both gearing up to meet these challenges and turn them into opportunities, while emerging from the shadow of Brexit and understanding what a new future will mean.
At present it looks like the UK Government is pursuing the “hard-Brexit” option with the UK expected to withdraw from the Single Market. However, we cannot tell if messages coming from Downing Street, Brussels, Berlin, Paris and the other European capitals are gamesmanship or serious statements of intent. Only time will tell.
What we do know, though, is that in our fast-moving industry there is no time to take our foot off the pedal and navel gaze.
No matter what shape Brexit eventually takes, the greatest asset that the UK’s fintech industry has is the people who drive it forward. The innovators, entrepreneurs and risk takers who have made London a fintech capital to rival New York, and one which will continue to adapt to change and seize opportunities.
It is also worth remembering that fintech is a global industry. Our clients are not just in Europe, they are all around the world. From the mobile banking pioneers in Africa to the mobile commerce trailblazers in Asia; fintech is everywhere and rightly so.
We have some big announcements coming soon and we are looking forward to sharing them with you. Despite all the uncertainties, we believe that this is a time to be confident and embrace the opportunities being presented to us.