TWO thirds of fintech founders in the UK are worried about Brexit and how it will impact the industry’s prospects over the next five years, a new survey has found.
Despite their concerns, 63 per cent of fintech founders believe the UK is the world leader in fintech, with 18.5 per cent disagreeing and 18.5 per cent saying they are unsure, according to a survey from Digital Finance Forum.
69 per cent of respondents said they were worried or extremely worried about the negative impact of Brexit on their businesses, compared to 14.5 per cent who are not worried and 16.5 per cent who feel neutral.
And on a five-year horizon, only one in three fintech founders are optimistic or very optimistic about the UK’s position as a global leader in fintech.
But more than 60 per cent of respondents are more optimistic about their businesses now than they were at the beginning of the year.
“The survey firmly tells us that founders consider the UK to currently be the global leader in fintech,” said Christian Faes, chair of the Digital Finance Forum and co-founder and chief executive of online property lender LendInvest.
“However, disconcertingly, many founders share a concern that we may not necessarily hold on to this position in the years ahead. In some respects, there is a feeling that we have become complacent about the UK fintech sector and its dominance globally.”
The survey asked 50 of the UK’s leading fintech founders on their views about their business opportunities and challenges.
Topics covered in the survey included what the future of UK fintech looks like, where founders see the industry going, and what government can be doing to ensure the UK remains a global leader.
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According to 66 per cent of respondents, hiring enough good people is the biggest challenge facing UK fintech businesses.
Behind that, 56 per cent of respondents said hiring engineering and product professionals is a key challenge, and 29 per cent say raising growth capital is a considerable challenge.
If the government wants to help the UK retain its fintech crown, 64 per cent of respondents say it needs to improve the visa system and make it easier to recruit talent from abroad.
A further 45 per cent say financial regulation needs to continue to allow fintechs to compete, and 41 per cent say there should be a Secretary of State for Technology.
LendInvest has ruled out going public later this year and instead plans to complete a private fundraising, according to a report from Financial News.
The company previously appointed three investment banks to work on its £500m initial public offering in March.