Shocking news from across the pond today. Citing continued frustration over the uncertainty surrounding Brexit the entire UK fintech community has announced today they are moving to Iceland.
This surprising move is a huge boost for the Iceland economy, not typically known as a hotbed of fintech. Speaking with reporters today Iceland’s prime minister, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, said that today’s historic announcement is the result of months of negotiation wooing the likes of Revolut, Funding Circle, Zopa, Monzo, LendInvest, Nutmeg, Starling Bank and many more UK fintech leaders.
One fintech CEO, who preferred to remain anonymous, had this is say when questioned about this historic move, “Any financial business struggles with uncertainty and after almost three years of uncertainty with Brexit we have had enough. Our employees and customers fully support this move and are looking forward to settling in to life in Reykjavik”.
This is unprecedented and a huge loss for the UK government who have long touted their support of fintech companies. London has often been considered the fintech capital of the world and now that title will likely move to Reykjavik. Up until this point there has not been much of a fintech presence in Iceland and that is all about to change with this announcement. UK fintech companies will begin moving staff as soon as tomorrow.
One minor hiccup emerged as this story was going to press. Iceland is not actually a member of the European Union, it is part of the European Economic Area and a member of the European Free Trade Association. Fintech leaders shrugged off this minor detail arguing that the most important factor right now is to bring certainty to the future of UK fintech.
Peter Renton is the chairman and co-founder of Fintech Nexus, the world’s largest digital media company focused on fintech. Peter has been writing about fintech since 2010 and he is the author and creator of the Fintech One-on-One Podcast, the first and longest-running fintech interview series.