The UK's Department for Media, Culture and Sport has published a digital strategy report outlining its plans for the tech sector post-Brexit; the government plans to invest 17.3 million British pounds ($21.27 million) into artificial intelligence and robotics research and also reported a 1 billion British pound ($1.23 billion) program to improve internet connectivity across the UK; it will also create five international tech hubs, host a competition for fintech products and create a forum for communicating with the tech community; all of its efforts are geared towards helping the UK remain competitive in the tech industry. Source
IW Capital has surveyed 1,000 investors who have between GBP10,000 ($12,812) and over GBP250,000 ($320,300) worth of investments; the report shows UK investors are willing to take on greater risk in 2017; 44% of investors think Brexit will have a positive impact on their investment strategy; many investors see investment opportunity in private equity and UK investors also reported they will be looking more to tax efficient investing. Source
The UK fintech sector has shaken off the worries of Brexit to take in the second highest amount of capital from VC’s in 2017; they have overtaken China and only trail the US in terms of VC funding; according to data from Innovate Finance UK fintech investment was up 153 percent in 2017 from the year earlier; 24 per cent went into challenger banks, 21 percent into money transfer and foreign exchange, 17 percent into alternative lending and financing and 11 percent into personal finance/wealth management; VC investment globally reached $14.4bn across 1,824 deals, representing an 18 per cent decrease from 2016. Source.
The UK has triggered Article 50 and the 27 European Union countries will now begin negotiating with the UK for new terms; Innovate Finance's Lawrence Wintermeyer provides comments on the effects on fintech; says Brexit will make it more challenging for the UK to attract global investment and talent; Wintermeyer also says Brexit could potentially create new opportunities for regtech which will become increasingly important in cross-border activities. Source
Stress testing from Funding Circle has reported its loan platform would still provide investors with a net return of 6.4% given a worst case market scenario; while effects from Brexit continue to be debated, market skeptics are not as optimistic as the UK platforms; they foresee stagflation in the UK characterized by higher unemployment and slowing GDP growth; they are also concerned about a lack of skin in the game which has prompted parliament member, Chris Philp, to request from the Financial Conduct Authority that a portion of each firm's loans include balance sheet capital; while marketplace lending executives are against this approach, policy makers are considering it. Source
The UK fintech market saw $2.8bn invested across 182 deals through three quarters, which surpassed all of 2016; the third quarter alone saw a record of $1.6bn in invesment; the number of deals closing was down when compared to 2016, though bigger deals have made the amount invested significantly higher; the figures can be attributed to Fintech Global, a UK based consulting firm. Source.
One of the more controversial items of the past year around the world has been the Brexit vote in the UK, and at LendIt USA 2017 we hosted a panel of leading platforms to discuss what the vote has meant for their companies thus far; consensus opinion throughout the panel was that the campaign leading up to Brexit had a worse effect than the actually vote; most investors these platforms work with wanted Brexit, so the vote of leaving the EU was not a surprise to many platforms; origination volumes have rebounded since the vote and both small business and consumer markets are currently strong in the UK; during the campaign for Brexit a lot of uncertainty was in the market but that uncertainty and bad news was short lived; markets rebounded, the bad news cycles slowed and UK MPL platforms continue to show strength in the post Brexit world. Source