Global investment in financial technology ventures has more than tripled during the last five years – from under $930 million in 2008 to more than $2.97 billion in 2013.

Given the dramatic changes occurring in financial services, driven by new technology, regulations, consumer behaviour, and the need for cost reduction, this global trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future Accenture stated in a report.

This growth represents a significant opportunity for London. Accenture’s analysis of fintech venture investment shows the city has become the fintech capital of Europe. Since 2004, the lion’s share of Europe’s fintech deals and financing have taken place in the UK with the vast majority occurring in London. FinTech investments grew 136 per cent, hitting $623m and accounting for the largest share of investment in the region.

And while Ireland has a developing tech centre of its own, it contributes heavily to London’s fintech center incubating fintech companies that often turn to the city for customers, promotion, partnerships and funding.  In 2013, UK and Ireland together accounted for more than half of Europe’s fintech deals (53 percent) and more than two-thirds of its total financing (69 percent, or $265 million).

Even though it is the European leader, London’s share of the global fintech pie is still relatively small. In 2013, one-third of all global fintech financing (32 percent) and 20 percent of all deals took place in Silicon Valley, while the whole of Europe accounted for 13 percent of fintech financing and 15 percent of global deals.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson noted last year at the opening of the Level 39 fintech accelerator facility where Accenture’s FinTech Innovation Lab London was first tenant: “Attracting the brightest entrepreneurial minds is crucial if London is to maintain its position as the world’s foremost financial centre.”

“The massive investment in FinTech shows that the digital revolution is well advanced in financial services, and it is both a threat and an opportunity for banks,” said Julian Skan, Accenture’s managing director who oversees its FinTech Innovation Lab in London.

“FinTech is empowering new competitors and startups to move into parts of the banking business but, paradoxically, it is also helping banks to create better, more convenient products and services for their clients. It is also leading to increased cooperation between traditional banks and innovative start-ups and technology businesses in a way that can result in totally new business models and revenue streams.”

(image credit: Jon Curnow)

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