London’s fintech sector is showing “shoots of positivity”, an industry chief said today as they sought to challenge the doom and gloom narrative surrounding the business environment in the City.
Despite the loss of some major floats, the chief executive of Innovate Finance (IF), the industry body representing the UK’s fintech sector, said she was optimistic about London’s business climate.
“I think that it is a difficult year and it is a difficult market and it’s a difficult economy for everyone,” Janine Hirt told City A.M.
“However, fintechs are proving their value in this space. Yes, for fundraising and business it is a difficult environment, but we are seeing investment into those companies that provide really valuable solutions. And the UK is still far ahead of any of our European counterparts,” Hirt said.
The US is first place in terms of fintech investment but the UK is close behind in second.
Hirt said the UK tends to be six or seven months behind the US, which saw an uptick in the first half of this year.
“I imagine that maybe not H1 next year, but at least in H2 I think there is a lot of dry powder, so I’m quite optimistic of where we’re going,” she said.
Her comments come after a top Financial Conduct Authority official fired shots at the press for creating a negative atmosphere for business in the UK, discouraging firms from floating in London.
London Stock Exchange chief Julia Hoggett has also challenged the narrative that has built up around the City in recent months.
“People have narratives in their heads and are looking for things to fulfil it rather than anything else,” she told City A.M. in a recent interview.
“We live in a country of the free press – the media’s got a right to report what they want to report, but I think it’s fair to say that quite often the context is missing,” she said. “Where we actually sit in terms of being, by any measure, the largest in Europe… is not your starting point in a lot of the narrative.”