Thought Piece

Why should the UK be your first choice for fintech business growth?

Posted: 15 Apr 2024

Resource Type: Thought Piece

The UK is a global leader in financial technology and innovative solutions. This means that international fintechs wanting to locate or invest here stand to benefit from a one of kind ecosystem for innovation to catalyse their business growth.

UK is a hub for Investment.

The UK is global leader in attracting capital and investment. It is the single largest hub for fintech investment outside of the US, and attracted $5.1 billion across 409 deals in 2023. In a challenging global environment for investment last year, the UK saw four Unicorns created in 2023 – two of which were AI firms: Quantexa has received a £1.42bn valuation, whilst generative AI firm Synthesia was valued at $1bn. This means that it is the ideal choice for your firm to find investors, and secure the capital it needs to grow.

The UK as a thriving ecosystem for emerging artificial intelligence (AI)

AI is set to revolutionise business models across all industry sectors; and the UK is gearing up to be a leading centre for AI technology. As our recent report shows, there are currently 3,000 AI firms in the UK employing over 50,000 people. The UK receives around half of all of Europe’s investment into AI.  

The City of London Corporation is working with KPMG to produce a report that will lean on quantitative and qualitative analysis to explore how AI will transform financial and professional services roles. Published this Summer, Financial and professional services: the future of AI and the workforce will unpack the future AI skillsets that financial services firms will need.

The leading position that the UK enjoys for AI means that firms working here find themselves part of a cutting edge ecosystem for AI development. The talent, partners, clients and capital you need are all here. At the same time, an attractive regulatory environment makes it easy for firms to build new solutions, whilst ensuring a safe, ethical approach to the design, development and deployment of AI. 

A regulator with a mandate to support innovation.

The UK has a world leading regulatory regime for financial and professional services. The UK regulators have a long-established  mandate to support innovation, as well as, formally, a secondary objective to support competitiveness.  Regulators like the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority work closely with firms. Meanwhile, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology supports an agile and principles-based approach to AI regulation.

The UK has previously shown global leadership by introducing regulatory and digital sandboxes to support innovation. A UK-based AI regulatory sandbox has already been created to support AI innovation in the medical sector and advances are being made in parallel by both the FCA and UK Government to explore how further sandboxes can accelerate innovation while ensuring a safe and ethical approach to the design, development and deployment of AI.

So international fintechs doing business in the UK benefit from an attractive and agile regulatory environment. This makes it easy for firms to build new solutions whilst ensuring a safe and ethical approach to the design, development and deployment of tech solutions including in the fast growing sectors of AI and regtech.

A deep pool of talent

The UK has a diverse, international and highly skilled talent pool with unique combination of tech and finance expertise. Almost half of graduates come from business, maths and IT programmes. To further widen the pool of excellent talent, HMG introduced a scale up visa in 2022 allowing qualifying companies to sponsor overseas applicants to relocate for two years – matching world leading offers from other centres. This gives you access to the talent and expertise that you need to realise your product and business goals and growth.

The best of research and development capabilities

Being home to three of the world’s most intensive and high profile science/tech research clusters  - Cambridge, Oxford, and London – means that the UK’s academic institutions have spawned world leading tech and fintech firms.  These include globally recognised names in the tech sector including Deepmind. The UK has world-leading research and development capabilities, led, in part, by outstanding academic institutions that attract the very best of global talent.

This gives you access to the cutting edge research and partners that you need to develop the most innovative solutions.  

Chris Hayward,
Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation

Related content