Global FinTech hubs reach for the sky; London, Singapore continue to trail-blaze

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FinTech. That’s the world’s latest buzzword as far as financial information technology plain speak goes. Never before has a global phenomenon taken such fast-track growth proportions as this one exciting core strength in the financial world – and which is now fast straddling all kinds of segments and sectors there be.

According to a recent report released by Deloitte, London and Singapore continue to be the top-of-the chart FinTech hubs, whilst a host of other international centres have popped up on the horizon with their respective financial buzz growths as claim to fame.

The report that covered 44 prime centres across the global financial map, provides an overview of the rate at which these centres are growing into prominence, and also offers analyses on facts and figures of the marketplace, as well as future trends and the ease of growing FinTech businesses in each of these centres.

Sponsored by Global Fintech Hubs Federation, an initiative of SWIFT’s innovation arm named, ‘INNOTRIBE’, the researchers worked in collaboration with UK’s INNOVATE CREATE, another authority in the specialized subject. The duo has produced the Study, which is the second in a series, aimed at creating a cross-border and open platform for established and emerging FinTech hubs to seamlessly interact for greater mileage and earnings on investment.

London, Singapore tops; USA close behind

According to the ranking which scanned 20 European hubs, London and Singapore reigned as the top-rung leaders while New York, Silicon Valley and Chicago have emerged on positions of 2,3, and 5 respectively. The encouraging aspect is also that 24 new cities have been identified as fast-track FinTech growth centres across the USA.

To City of London Corporation’s Policy Chairman, Mark Boleat, the findings come as no surprise. As he put it, “The UK has long been a leader when it comes to FinTech”.  However, the feedback does render a sense of competition in him, and the need for a new surge of enthusiasm to excel in the sector. “ With competition rising, it’s important for the UK to continue championing innovation whilst maintaining the right degree of regulation to see our FinTechs thrive. We are committed to strengthening FinTech in the UK”, he adds.

A Whole New Focus on Regulation

Only a handful of countries  – the UK, Netherlands, Russia, Switzerland and Norway – have set up regulatory sandboxes, while even fewer have seen their watchdogs ink FinTech cooperation deals with counterparts around the world. After the leading US hubs mentioned above, Charlotte also appears to be catching up for attention in that country as does Toronto in Canada.

In Asia Pacific, hubs are more positive about regulation, while the players in the Middle East follow a Government-regulated support system.

The African market for FinTech practitioners concentrate on mobile and social payments but big success stories are rare  – thanks to low levels of government and regulatory support and  lack of quality infrastructure.

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