London tech chiefs have called on the government to push ahead with reforms today after a new survey showed that London has climbed above San Francisco as a global hub for fintech for the first time.
The new rating showed London in second place for fintech, racing ahead of San Francisco in third, in part of a wider report by think tank ZYen on the world’s top financial centres.
The report, which rates cities on issues such as access to funding, availability of talent and regulation, placed London in second behind New York, but showed the City was steadily closing in on the Big Apple. London’s rating climbed 13 points to 744, while New York’s score only rose by three points to 763.
“It’s good to see that London’s long standing fintech strengths, the Prime Minister’s personal enthusiasm for technologies, such as AI, and our ambitious package of City reforms are paying dividends,” City minister Andrew Griffith told City A.M.
“We are only really getting started with the benefits from helping UK pension funds invest in ‘scale up’ opportunities, the rebirth of investment research post MIFID and more reforms making it easier for founders to list here landing over the next 12 months,” he added.
The fresh ranking comes after a troubling year for fintech where venture capital funding has dried up globally and scores of firms have been forced to rein in growth plans and lay off staff.
Tech chiefs also welcomed the new rankings, but said it was important that the reforms Griffith outlined are carried through in full to make sure the sector maintains its competitive edge on the global stage.
Janine Hirt, chief of industry body Innovate Finance, said it was “imperative that we move forward with faster, smarter and more effective regulation, if we are to cement our international leadership”.
“We are at a critical juncture for our industry,” she told City A.M.
Gerard Grech, founder and former chief of start-up network Tech Nation, added the boost was a “testament to London’s ability to adapt, thrive, and lead on the global stage”.
However, London Tech Advocates boss Russ Shaw said that while progress was being made, more needed to be done to boost access to funding and talent.
“Easier access to scaling capital and the primary markets, alongside an ever-improving skilled and diverse workforce – both from across the UK and overseas – continue to be areas which must be prioritised by both the private and public sector,” he told City A.M.