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ICAEW: Fintech innovation - perspectives from Singapore and London

Wednesday 31 October 2018, Global fintech investment nearly doubled between 2014 and 2017 reflecting the industry’s rapidly growing influence and future potential. In its latest report, Fintech innovation: perspectives from Singapore and London, ICAEW’s IT Faculty and ISCA (The Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants) explore essential key drivers of successful fintech innovation and highlight challenges around the core purpose of fintech solutions.

The report captures the main drivers and essential premises for fintech innovation by investigating the strength of London and Singapore as the main fintech hubs and the challenges they face. A comparison of these two hubs and their similar strengths despite different operating conditions provides a rich picture of fintech development around the world. In preparing this report ICAEW and ISCA conducted a desk-top review and interviews with a range of experts in both capital cities.

Kirstin Gillon, ICAEW Technical Manager, IT, said:

“Fintech relies on innovators, investors and regulators interacting together, building networks and constantly learning from each other. This is the reason why we have witnessed most fintech development coming from a limited number of hubs, typically where five key elements or premises co-exist – namely, markets, talent, capital, progressive regulation and active government support.”
While fintech hubs have these core characteristics in common, Kirstin said: “No hub operates in isolation; they each need to draw on markets and global talent, as well as develop strong connections and links with other hubs. In Singapore, there is a clear need to collaborate with surrounding countries given its relatively small population. In London, on the other hand, fintech companies are trying to scale their businesses and disrupt incumbents. For them, attracting top talent remains a key focus. It is essential that businesses, regulators and governments adapt and tailor their fintech strategies and regulations to meet the particular needs of the country.”

Regulation is a key difference when compared to other areas of technology innovation. While it is critical to regulate in order to manage risks and build popular trust, regulators must also encourage and enable growth – striking the right balance between these two important objectives is essential.


Natalie Bruce

Please direct all media inquiries related to this article to:

Natalie Bruce - Media Relations Executive
Tel:+44 (0)20 7920 8616 or +44 (0)7917 530 747
Email: Natalie.Bruce@icaew.com