U.K. lender Barclays has announced that it has opened a new fintech center in London’s Shoreditch dedicated toward discovering future business opportunities that aims to change the future of financial services.
In an announcement from Barclays, the Rise London facility, which Barclays is claiming to be the largest co-working space in Europe, will be home to over forty fintech companies, in addition to banking and technology teams from Barclays where they will create innovative concepts for the fintech sector. On a monthly basis, Rise London will host over 200 hours of learning, workshops, hackathons and networking opportunities for fintech and venture capital communities.
Rise London is part of Barclays’ Rise global platform, which, at present, has completed more than 70 deals between Barclays and financial technology companies in the past 18 months, aimed at solving challenges and open new markets for the business.
Jes Staley, Barclays group chief executive, said that they had created 750 jobs in their U.K. technology centers and that technology should be a core competency of a global financial institution.
Fintech startups are at the front of the technology wave that is changing our industry. Through Rise, we glean important insights; we can actively experiment with emerging technologies, and we can spot early trends and new markets as they form. This allows our employees, customers and clients to do things faster, better and at lower cost.
It hasn’t been all plain sailing for the U.K.’s financial technology sector. Since the Brexit vote last year, a report found that fintech funding fell by 33 percent in 2016 with uncertainty circulating the vote to leave the EU as one of the contributing factors.
However, since the study U.K. funding bounced back in Q4 2016 while a report from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced that the U.K.’s fintech sector had recovered from its Brexit dip after receiving more requests for regulatory support in the aftermath of the Brexit vote compared to before.
Of course, while the U.K. may be showing signs of improvement, it remains to be seen what the sector will look like after the U.K. leaves the bloc in 2019. With cities such as Paris, Berlin, and Dublin eager to take the top spot and keen to attract U.K. companies who want to remain in the single market, London could quite easily lose out on the top spot.
It’s hoped, though, that major lenders such as Barclays will retain the talent in the U.K. as it works at changing the financial services sector for the future.
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