Fintech Founders has published a survey in collaboration with the UK Department for International Trade (DIT). Once again the group notes there is significant optimism for the Fintech industry while calling for more government support in a rapidly changing and dynamic market.
Originally called the Digital Finance Forum, Fintech Founders is a group of some of the the UK’s leading Fintech entrepreneurs. Fintech Founders aims to advocate on behalf of the young industry providing a voice for the Fintech sector – highlighting challenges for what has emerged as a vital sector of the financial services industry.
According to this new survey which was completed this past summer, worryingly, two in five founders doubt UK’s position as a leader in Fintech. Approximately half of these founders believe their voice is unheard by the UK government.
The findings indicated that 96% of founders felt either confident or very confident about the future of their business, with three-quarters of founders currently looking to expand their business internationally. Fintech Founders says this demonstrates the significant untapped potential for the Government’s ‘Global Britain’ agenda.
This survey follows the much-touted Kalifa Review, a survey about the UK Fintech industry that indicated concern about the sector. Fintech Founders note that only one in five founders thought the Review would make a positive difference for their business and of all those who welcomed the Review, more than two-thirds think the Government is not interested in acting on its recommendations.
In brief, government support is viewed as falling short. While many Fintechs want to expand services into other countries, many are unaware of various DIT programs like the Fintech Export Academy.
Similar to any early-stage ventures, Fintechs need better access to growth capital and founders report there has been a considerable rise in those experiencing difficulties with recruitment and access to talent, with one in three founders saying it was now the main issue they faced.
Christian Faes, co-founder of LendInvest and Chair of Fintech Founders, commented on the survey:
“It’s hugely encouraging to see the confidence amongst other founders regarding the future of their business, and the health of the Fintech sector overall. Despite this, the findings of this Summer’s survey are stark: founders still feel their concerns are falling on deaf ears at Whitehall, and the UK’s position as a leader in Fintech is under more scrutiny than ever.We are calling on the Government to embrace this huge optimism of founders and work with us on our challenges to ensure UK Fintech continues to flourish.”
John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, called the survey timely, stating it reinforces his commitment to “ensuring that the UK remains the pre-eminent place for Fintechs to do business.”
Additional insights from the survey:
- A majority (56% vs. 44%) of founders thought the UK was currently positioned as the world leader in Fintech – but this is down from 2019 when 63% said the UK was the world leader.
- 96% were either quite or very confident about the outlook for their business in the next 12 months, up from 81% last year.
- Despite Brexit, over half (52%) of all respondents are still interested in expanding to markets across the European Union.
Over one hundred founders participated in the Fintech Founders survey.
The Survey is available below.