Banks boost digital capabilities with new fintech hubs
BARCLAYS opened the largest co-working fintech space in Europe last month, underlining an increasing trend of banks moving into technology.
Rise London is based in Shoreditch and encompasses 30,000 square feet of office space over seven floors.
It will support more than 40 fintech companies, including those in the current cohort of the Barclays Accelerator scheme for emerging startups.
“How do we maintain our success in the face of new technology, and how do we have the mindset to defend what is so critical to the institution?” said Barclays Group chief executive Jes Staley.
“One of the responses of the bank is Rise, and that says that we’re not afraid of new technology, we embrace it.”
The move is being echoed by other mainstream lenders.
For now there is not much evidence of a threat to P2P innovation from banks’ fintech hubs, as most seem to focus on other types of financial technology such as contactless payments.
HSBC has seven innovation labs globally in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, India, Israel and China, focusing on blockchain, artificial intelligence, data analytics and cyber security.
Similarly, Royal Bank of Scotland opened a specialist fintech hub in May at its Edinburgh headquarters, the largest in Scotland, giving start-ups access to the bank’s staff and technology partners to help grow their ideas and businesses.
It is not just the biggest lenders moving into fintech. Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank has partnered with Market Gravity to design, implement and launch an experiential banking innovation lab called Studio B in London.