Fintech

It’s official – London is the fintech capital of the world

London is the fintech capital of the world. Image: Freepik
Written by Bernard Lunn

Bernard Lunn shares his scoring system for discovering the ‘fintech capital of the world’.

According to my crude scoring system (shown below), London wins the ‘Fintech Capital of the World’ title. I’m using the minimum viable product mantra of ‘if the first version doesn’t embarrass you, you have left it too late to launch’.

I know my scoring system is crude and some of the scores will change after further input and research, but that’s the point of using Daily Fintech as a collaborative research tool. We learn by putting stuff out there and getting market feedback.

I feel qualified to do this because a) I have lived and worked in all three regions (America, Europe and Asia), and b) the Fintech Global Tour went to 19 places (and then later some smaller, more alternative places). I took the top 10 Global Financial Centres as a starting point:

 GFC Rank
New York1
London2
Hong Kong3
Singapore4
Tokyo5
Zurich6
Seoul7
San Francisco8
Chicago9
Boston10

Then I created four criteria specific to fintech:

  • Unicorns
  • Regulatory
  • Hubs
  • Funding.

I gave each equal weight, and applied a crude ranking of 1, 2 or 3 (lower is better). Comments on these criteria and ranking:

  • Unicorns – How many tech unicorns from this location (not just fintech, not enough of them yet to score this). Obviously, San Francisco scores far higher and my crude 1-3 scoring doesn’t capture this. Innovation has a way of surprising us all, and San Francisco (aka Silicon Valley) has an extraordinary ability to ‘float the good stuff to the top’.
  • Regulatory – This is an area where more research is needed. Some places are good in some areas of regulation, but not in others. For example, Switzerland is good for bitcoin, and New York is bad for bitcoin. I scored London tops because the FCA has a reputation of being at least accessible to conversations with entrepreneurs, and generally focused on the economic value-add from innovation.
  • Hubs – This is a subject of a session that I will be moderating at Sibos in October in Singapore. My ranking is not by number of hubs. It’s more to do with how easy it is to go to one of these capitals and meet the key players through some event or networking group. This is where London scores tops thanks to the pioneering work of Innovate Finance, as well as the Fintech Circle networking hub.
  • Funding – I’m focused on early stage (up to Series B). Again, my ranking isn’t fintech-specific (because most funds are still domain-agnostic).
    Without further ado, here is the ranking (lower is better):
 GFCUnicornRegsHubsFundsScore
London221128
New York1232210
Hong Kong3323314
Singapore4322314
San Francisco8122114
Tokyo5323316
Zurich6323317
Seoul7323318
Boston10322219
Chicago9323320

This article is reproduced with kind permission. Some minor changes have been made to reflect BankNXT style considerations. Read the original article by Bernard Lunn of Daily Fintech. Main image: Freepik

About the author

Bernard Lunn

Bernard Lunn is a serial entrepreneur who used to work for fintech companies such as Misys and Temenos. He has done turnarounds and startups in America, Asia and Europe. He lives in Switzerland and works as an adviser connecting banks, funds and strategics to fintech innovation globally. As part of the research for this, he is Founding Editor of Daily Fintech and provides mentoring to startups.

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