FinTech is a fast growing sector that is revolutionising the world of financial services and is putting the skids on traditional companies, which are losing an increasingly large share of this business to innovative enterprises that effectively combine the spheres of finance and technology.
Deloitte, one of the world’s leading professional services networks, has this year drafted a report on the world's best cities in which to launch a FinTech firm, taking into consideration a database of 44 hubs scattered in as many technological centres around the world.
The result? According to the criteria used by Deloitte – which include doing business, financial competitiveness and innovation – the best cities in the world for Fintech are London and Singapore.
The capital of the United Kingdom, writes Deloitte, “has the “Fin” of New York, the “Tech” of the US West Coast and the policymakers of Washington, all within a 15 minute journey on public transport”. Technology, capital, human resources from all over the world, and institutions ready to support businesses: features similar to those of Singapore, the city-state which this year has invested over 160 million dollars of public funds in the development of Fintech projects, making it the best FinTech hub in Asia.
The last place on the podium in the Deloitte ranking goes to New York City, supported by one of the most established financial systems: As the report says, “With Wall Street having the greatest need for FinTech innovation, the best technology and engineering talent have come together to create a vibrant and well-funded ecosystem”.
America also takes home fourth and fifth place, occupied by two other hubs of excellence: Silicon Valley and Chicago. Situated in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, Silicon Valley is synonymous with technology innovation, which is now aimed at FinTech. As Deloitte points out, in the future we will likely see increased FinTech activity by GAFA (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, all headquartered in Silicon Valley).
Chicago acts as the epicentre for all FinTech activity in the Midwest, representing well over 20,000 financial institutions: over 6% of the Chicago workforce are focused on the financial ecosystem.
Milan ranks thirtieth, behind almost all the European hubs: Oslo, Dublin, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam.
Deloitte allocates sixth place to Hong Kong: it is Asia’s largest financial centre, and this provides immediate attraction for FinTech, also due to its strategic proximity to China.
The highest ranking European city, after London, is Zurich. Classified in seventh place, according to Deloitte it is “the largest financial centre in Switzerland, a country famed for its quality, reliability, security and stability” – ideal conditions to strengthen the business fabric, also in the FinTech field.
Eighth place goes to Sydney, a real point of reference not just – and indeed, not so much – in Oceania, but especially in South Asia.
Frankfurt and Toronto complete the ranking’s top ten positions: the former hosts the largest Stock Exchange in Continental Europe and boasts an enviable system of start-ups, financial institutions and talents; in the Canadian city, instead, FinTech is growing exponentially, as evidenced by the fact that 80% of the FinTech start-ups in Canada are Toronto-based.
Milan, therefore, remains outside the Top Ten, despite having recently launched the Milan FinTech District, a new hub that aims to represent the Italian FinTech community. The road ahead is still very long, as confirmed by the city’s 30th place in the Deloitte report, trailing behind almost all the European hubs (including Oslo, Dublin, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam…). However, Milan seems to be travelling in the right direction. And who knows, maybe next year will see a significant improvement in the rankings.