Last week the European fintech industry gathered in London for the fifth annual LendIt Fintech Europe event. While there were many key themes that emerged from our 2018 event, given the state of politics in the UK right now, one big theme hovered over them all: Brexit. As we got underway last Monday at the Business Design Centre it was not clear that the UK Prime Minister would make it through the day with her job intact.
Of course, the industry moves on regardless of the political events of the day so all the attendees got down to business just like they have done at previous events. Key themes that emerged over the two days were the continued inroads incumbent banks were making in fintech, the maturation of bank/fintech partnerships, the importance of open banking initiatives that are in development, and why strong and sensible regulation is critical for the development of fintech. Videos of all the keynote sessions are now posted online but below is a summary of some of the key points made in each session.
Kicking things off this year was Rajesh Agrawal, the Deputy Mayor for Business at the City of London. He talked passionately about the opportunity that London provides for business and the fact that there is an entire ecosystem setup here to support fintech entrepreneurs. With London you have a city that combines the best of New York, Silicon Valley and Washington DC all in one place. He made the interesting point that the future is all about connecting global cities and that cities are more important than ever before. Great cities like London can help enable these connections. He closed with the simple message that London is open for business and regardless of what happens with Brexit it will remain open.