FinTech After The EU Referendum – Perspectives From The Innovate Finance Town Hall

On July 7, Level39 member and member-driven Fintech organisation Innovate Finance, convened some of they key players in the industry to talk fintech after the EU Referendum.

In case you missed it, Innovate Finance have provided a write-up of the action below – as well as a the full 2-hour stream of the event.  


Uncertainty, sadness and opportunity where just some of the emotions shared by speakers from the Innovate Finance community last week during its Town Hall Meeting at Level39.

Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO of Innovate Finance opened the event with commentary on the reaction to referendum in the FinTech community. Although there was recognition of the concerns of retaining access to single market and passporting, Wintermeyer emphasised the need to honour the desires of the electorate.

Some of this short-term solutions were revealed in a Post-Brexit Toolkit for Innovate Finance members. Hogan Lovells, freuds, EY and Deliotte amongst other strategic partners for Innovate Finance would play primary roles in supplying solutions within this toolkit in the upcoming weeks and months.

‘Your journey is our journey’

William Russell of the City of London stressed FinTech as a key component of city and how its success remains vital for the future of the financial services sector. Russell reiterated the City of London’s commitment to the sector, stating it has “No greater supporter than City of London in the weeks and months ahead.”

Similarly, Chris Woolard of FCA assured attendees that there would be no regulatory changes in the near term and spoke in detail of the initiatives from the FCA (Project Innovate and the regulatory sandbox) and their view that ensuring competition and innovation remain vital to development of strong financial markets in the UK.

Within a panel hosted by Innovate Finance’s Head of Policy & Regulation, Daniel Morgan, specialists painted a picture of a more cautious landscape shaped by concerns in liquidity, regulatory uncertainty and implications for access to talent, all reflective of the short term constraints for the sector. UK economist Dan Hanson outlined his medium to long term overview of Brexit, stating potential economic slowdown will be driven by uncertainty and tightening in financial conditions.

John Egan of Anthemis remained neutral on the future of FinTech but noted the complexity of the EU Referendum results. He stated Anthemis may become more aggressive in the UK FinTech in the future.

Rachel Kent from law firm Hogan Lovells stated startups should begin walking through their business and ask “Am I running a regulated business?” and consider their regulatory and legal priorities more promptly.

“The way we react will say a lot of us to the international community,” stated Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK. He noted the unique atmosphere of London couldn’t be replicated in other European capitals and the need to be ‘cautiously optimistic’ as we navigate the unknowns.

Macro pessimistic, Mico optimistic

Within the community segment of the Town Hall, there was recognition that building the best ecosystem needs the world’s top talent. Members spoke of their concern for the future of talent and its importance to secure the customers and long term viability of the sector. Others in turn stressed the importance of taking stock of the lessons of Brexit. Tom Woolf of EdAid noted the importance of focusing on the disillusionment with the status quo outside London and the opportunity for banks and FinTech firms in engaging with and helping to address the concerns of the electorate.

Over the next few weeks, we will be announcing a toolkit, driven by contributions from our partners to help our members navigate through the next few weeks and months.


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