The business sector is watching with bated breath as the specifics of leaving the EU are hammered out. Will the booming fintech sector take a hit?
It is still very uncertain what the effects of leaving the EU will have on British industry. Traditional manufacturing, import export, and high-tech services industries are all anticipated to be affected – including Fintech.
In a recent report related to its Startupbootcamp Fintech programme, PwC were keen to stress that concerns were hypothetical at the moment, and that London was still the centre of the Fintech sector. It went on to say that, rather than falling away from Europe, they believed the UK has inspired a number of other countries to follow its lead in terms of innovation and the reduction of regulatory restraints, creating a thriving Fintech sector that could well remain largely unaffected by Brexit.
The UK as a focal point
It is generally accepted that London is a seat of power, even though other major cities are working hard to at least emulate, if not overhaul that position. The city boasts a strong financial services sector and a strong technology sector – two disciplines that provide the ideal combination in the ever-developing world of artificial intelligence, blockchain cyber protection and data sharing.
The key concern for industry, post-Brexit, is the potential end of the free movement of European residents, which could consequently leave the UK with a shortage of skilled workers. In anticipation, training bodies are evolving to try to ensure the current and future workforce is capable of meeting this talent drain.
The role of technology
Advancing technology, particularly the likes of blockchain, removes many geographical boundaries – allowing the exchange of data, currency and security information safely across the world, and is therefore resistant to the loss or remodelling of the European marketplace.
Away from the Fintech sector, the same technology is being introduced to a number of business areas, including personal data security and healthcare. In areas such as logistics, for instance, technology can facilitate supply chains, track and trace systems and customs compliance issues – with logistics companies seeing benefits in introducing training for skills that prepare their workforces for a changing trading and customs system while at the same time streamlining processes and increasing efficiency.
The future of the sector
While uncertainty in Europe is set to remain with us for the duration of the Brexit negotiations, the experts believe that it is in the interests of the regulators to encourage innovation.
In an interview with Financier Worldwide Mark Adair from leading business law firm Mason Hayes & Curran, said: “A post-Brexit UK that aims to thrive in the digital economy needs its citizens to have strong digital skills.
“To bridge the skills gap and compete with other nations post-Brexit, I would recommend the UK government invests heavily in education and training. This needs to start early at the primary school stage where all the evidence shows that Britain’s youngsters are lagging behind the rest of Europe. And there is a need to invest in continuous training as the digital landscape is constantly evolving and changing.”
Developing the necessary skills
The Said Business School at the University of Oxford is working in collaboration with GetSmarter, a digital education company, to present career-focused online programmes for those looking to increase their knowledge and skills to not only adapt to transforming and evolving financial technologies, but to use them to their advantage.
Entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and business leaders have found the courses invaluable in learning to develop their own ideas and bring about industry change.
The courses include interaction and collaboration with blockchain authorities, industry leaders and pioneers, in a programme that can be applied to any business strategy.
Find out more here