UK FinTech splurge contributes to $98bn global record

London-centred boom results in 280 financial technology deals in first half of 2021

Britain’s investment in the financial technology industry hit a new record, with deals worth almost £18 billion $24.87bn) in the first half of this year.

The figure puts the UK second in the world behind the US, which hit $42.1bn for the same period

The spree took global investment in the burgeoning sector to $98 billon, an $11bn jump from the $87.1bn invested in the second half of 2020, and maintained the City of London's European fintech dominance.

London's FinTech ascendancy in Europe continued in the face of the UK government's failure to establish a post-Brexit deal, which gives the City equivalence to companies operating within the EU single market.

The £18bn splurge was fuelled by the London Stock Exchange's purchase of financial data provider Refinitiv for $14.8bn while investors poured funds into more than 280 of the UK's leading fintechs.

Quote
Covid-19 has spurred a race to digital in UK financial services and many of the major banks have dipped into their investment pots for digitisation
KPMG

Venture capital firms with a beady eye on start-ups were particularly prolific, doubling their FinTech investment from the last half of 2020 to $6.2bn

London is a centre financial technology and is the home of 3,018 FinTech operations, more than any other city worldwide.

The pandemic has also played a part in accelerating the City's relentless digital drive.

“Covid-19 has spurred a race to digital in UK financial services and many of the major banks have dipped into their investment pots for digitisation – a major reason we are seeing so much corporate investment," Karim Haji, Europe, Middle East, Africa and UK head of financial services at KPMG, told The Guardian.

“This timing, together with the UK’s reputation as a historic financial services sector and ongoing work to nurture FinTechs, from testing through to listing, makes the UK a magnet for investment.”

His colleague, Ian Pollari, KPMG’s global FinTech co-lead, believes investment in FinTech will become a long-term global trend.

“Large funding rounds, high valuations and successful exits underscore the thesis that digital engagement of customers that accelerated during the pandemic is here to stay,” Mr Pollari said.

Updated: August 11th 2021, 12:37 PM
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