My guest for today’s episode of the BankNXT Fintech Podcast is Nigel Verdon, CEO and co-founder of RailsBank, a banking and compliance platform that enables businesses to connect to global banking products using an API.
We have an enjoyable half-hour discussion about all sorts of things, such as the beginnings of RailsBank, how APIs are used, the benefits of APIs, and the status of London as a fintech hub.
“As you know, Taavet Hinrikus said that if he did TransferWise again, he wouldn’t do it in London,” says Nigel. “I’m the opposite – I would still do stuff here in London, primarily because the legal system is great. The ecosystem here of accountants, lawyers, regulator, technology, banks – everything that you actually need to build the fintech. It’s not just technology. You’ve got massive experience of digital marketing people; everything you need here in London to build that. And you’ve got a city that people want to live in as well – we shouldn’t lose sight of that – which has great communications to pretty much everywhere in the world.
“If you look at other jurisdictions, other cities etc., there is some business that may be lost to other places – Berlin is a great hub; it’s a city people want to go to; there’s good communications and an ecosystem that’s brewing there, so Berlin’s a great place. Other places … you’ve got to ask yourself would I want to live there, would I want to be taxed there, would I want to be an entrepreneur; when I’ve made my money and get absolutely killed on capital gains. In the UK, I pay 10% Entrepreneurs’ Relief. So it’s a massively great environment to work in. Plus, you’ve got the tax system here, which brings angel money in relatively easily … the whole system is set up significantly better than other countries. Other countries can copy that, but it is really about do people want to live there, do they want to be taxed there, is the ecosystem there, and so on.”
I ask Nigel Verdon about his role as a mentor to other startups, particularly as ‘Startup in Residence’ at Startupbootcamp FinTech 2016, and about his extensive career history in finance that touches on Currencycloud, Evolution Consulting Group and others.
Thanks again for listening in. I’m always open to discussion about who you think I should reach out to, especially if they’re doing something exciting in fintech. Please leave your comments below, or contact me on Twitter. You can catch other interviews on this page.You can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.