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London wins the fintech wars [#SIBOS]

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One of the other big things that cropped up this week is London versus New York as a financial centre.

That always crops up as a subject, but there's an interesting new ring to the conversation, which is that New York will naturally fall behind because London has its technology hub and financial centre side-by-side. New York doesn't have that advantage as the technology centre is six hours away on the West Coast in Silicon Valley.

It is certainly true that America has divided its resources between East and West Coast, but does that hamper innovation? Does that constrain their fintech capabilities?

Some would say absolutely yes. For example, when we look at where all the fintech dollars are going into start-ups, a third is going into Silicon Valley but $1 in every $6 is going into London, and its doubling year on year fast.

London has just launched Innovate Finance, a nurturing centre for developing fintech businesses, along with Level 39, the hotspace for fintech innovation. In East London, banks like Barclays are mentoring new startups in cryptocurrencies, and we see a true integration of finance and technology.

Do we see that in New York?

No, as all their innovation is over 2,500 miles away in San Francisco.

Am I baiting the debate here?


Is there a real cause for celebration in London?


As banks become technology companies, having the banks and the financial technology innovators all sitting together is truly going to make London the financial centre of the world for the future.

I'll be interested to hear if anyone wants to argue the view however.

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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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