Forget Berlin, Dublin and Paris - Asia's a bigger rival to London fintech regardless of Brexit

Lynsey Barber
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Scenes Of Singapore
Singapore, China, Hong Kong and South Korea have connected with London fintech (Source: Getty)

As Germany, France and Ireland attempt to woo London's fintech firms to their respective capital cities after the Brexit vote, one of the UK's top VCs has warned the industry should be more concerned with the rise of Asia as a fintech powerhouse rather than other European cities.

In the long-term, the continent's prominence in financial technology is likely to rival that of London, said Eileen Burbidge, partner at Passion Capital and fintech envoy to the Treasury.

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And its rise over the coming decade or so will come regardless of the type of Brexit which can be negotiated between the UK and the EU, said Burbidge, speaking to City A.M. at the Economist's Finance Disrupted conference.

Any shift of fintech business away from the capital will not be immediate, however, and will likely depend on whether the sector can secure access to talent in Brexit negotiations, but it will "continue to flourish".

Meanwhile, the London is unlikely to relinquish its fintech crown to the US where it's a collection of many separate State by State markets, she said.

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"Fintech is a global phenomenon and the UK shouldn't be too narrowly focused on just the European or American hubs. Asian influence is going to continue to grow and rise in prominence."

A report this week from Citi found China overtook the US in terms of fintech investment last year, accounting for more than half of all cash flowing into the sector globally.

Several new connections between the UK and Asia have been made in recent months to promote collaboration on fintech between the regions. The so-called Fintech Bridges have been set up with Singapore, Hong Kong, China and South Korea.