Theresa May has signed the letter that will formally separate the UK from its 43 year membership in the European Union. As the UK initiates Article 50, Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO of Innovate Finance – the advocacy group that supports all things Fintech – is out with a cautionary statement. Wintermeyer fears that Brexit may undermine the UK’s dominance in disruptive finance as it may be unable to attract the necessary skills to remain the global leader in financial innovation. Wintermeyer stated;
“The UK FinTech sector relies on global investment and world-class talent. The triggering of Article 50 may pose challenges to these fundamentals. The government must ensure that the UK remains attractive to global talent and investors. It must also play an active role in ensuring that homegrown talent is equipped with the skills to participate in the digital economy and play its role in the future development of FinTech.”
The PM has signed the letter which will trigger Article 50 tomorrow, starting negotiations for the UK to leave the EU. pic.twitter.com/jHerwJs4g9
— UK Prime Minister (@Number10gov) March 28, 2017
The one caveat to Wintermeyer’s caution is the silver lining that Brexit challenges may lead to more creative RegTech services;
“Whilst the triggering of Article 50 may pose challenges for FinTech, it may also create many new opportunities, especially in the area of the development of financial services regulation and new technologies that make financial services better for everyone. The UK government must ensure we continue to develop the most progressive FinTech ecosystem in the world and attract and develop the best global talent, the key ingredients to attracting quality investors.”
The UK has led the Fintech sector globally due in part to the private-public partnership engendered in past years. A light touch regulatory approach and a willingness to challenge established financial norms have created a hotbed of entrepreneurship in the financial sector. The concept of a regulatory Sandbox was first launched by the Financial Conduct Authority and since has been replicated around the world.