London is one of the most prominent trade and business centers in the world. It is a well-known hub for foreign exchange, bond trading in addition to banking activities and insurance services. The United Kingdom’s central bank, the Bank of England, is the second oldest central bank in the world and is located in London. London is also the seat of the London Stock Exchange, which is the largest stock exchange in Europe.
In recent years, financial technology has advanced at a unstoppable rate and fintech companies are growing in number and size very quickly in London. Fintech companies are driving change for consumers and businesses alike in the UK and Europe. The unbundling of financial services allows fintech start-ups and scale ups to provide more efficient and streamlined offerings, and to disrupt traditional banking, payment and lending services. There were around 1139 fintech companies in the UK in December 2019, with approximately 75% based in London. London has beaten New York in luring the largest amount of fundraising deals for financial technology companies so far in 2019. London has attracted 114 deals worth $2.1 billion in 2019.
Edinburgh is the UK’s second largest financial center after the City of London, employing thousands of people in financial services. Edinburgh has been a center of banking over 300 years and the Bank of Scotland was founded in 1695 and it is now part of Lloyds Banking Group, who have retained the Scottish headquarters in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh has an estimated 17,136 people working within technology and digital companies. The technology sector has grown upon the expertise within the city’s universities. A large number of technology companies are based in the area around the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh is leading cutting-edge, data-driven innovation to become the data capital of Europe.
The undergraduate and postgraduate programmes of the University of Edinburgh are taught by world class researchers and educators. To meet the demands of the digital world, an increasing number of full-time programmes are cross-disciplinary and have strong links to existing centers of research excellence within the three world-class academic Schools – the School of Informatics, Edinburgh Business School and the School of Mathematics.
Hong Kong is the world’s third largest financial centre and the leading financial hub in Asia. A multitude of MMCs have bases in the city, while over 1,000 Chinese companies are listed on HKEX. Since 2017, the Hong Kong government has made substantial investment and introduced generous funding to attract fintech companies to the city. Around half of the top-100 global fintech companies now have operations in Hong Kong.
The city’s proximity to the enormous Chinese market makes it an ideal place to launch fintech business in Asia. Companies benefit from Hong Kong’s low tax regime, absence of capital restrictions, trusted and proven regulatory environment, excellent infrastructure and highly favourable business environment. British banking and financial services giant, Standard Chartered has recently just announced to launch of their new virtual bank, Mox, in Hong Kong. Created in partnership with PCCW, HKT and Trip.com, Mox is Asia’s first “all-in-one”bank card. An account can be set up in minutes, providing a suite of retail banking services entirely digitally via its app.