Absolutely shocking news out of London today. With the ink barely dry on the letter sent to the European Union a few days ago triggering Brexit, the U.K. parliament did something no one expected. They passed a resolution to exit the United Nations.
While we all thought Brexit was shocking this announcement today is truly stunning. Particularly when you consider that the U.K. is a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council. Prime Minister Theresa May said that her government felt this was in the best interests of the United Kingdom and will help the country find its real identity in the world.
While the London Fintech community has taken Brexit in its stride this news will likely prove more challenging. But when I contacted industry leaders there early this morning they said the U.K. Fintech industry would be fine. The CEOs of Zopa, Funding Circle and Ratesetter all echoed similar thoughts, that the U.K. is a big market and that their businesses will continue to thrive with or without the rest of the world.
Many have argued that London is the Fintech capital of the world with more startups and more financial innovation happening in London than just about any other city in the world. It will be very interesting to see if this remains the case now in coming years.
One final note that came to light as we were about to publish this article. North Korea has sent an urgent request to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres to be considered for the now vacant permanent membership on the U.N. Security Council. No word on a response yet.
Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of LendIt Fintech, the world’s first and largest digital media and events company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series. Peter has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Fortune, NPR, Fox Business News, the Financial Times, and dozens of other publications.