FinTech Forum on Tour. Frankfurt Main Finance Managing Director Hubertus Väth

Building FinTech bridges between London and Frankfurt

FinTech Forum On Tour in Frankfurt

On March 22, 2018, promising entrepreneurs, investors, financial institutions and others interested in FinTech, gathered in Frankfurt for the FinTech Forum on Tour. The future cooperation between FinTechs and banks, as well as the UK and Germany were at the core of the event. Snowy weather and delicious earl grey tea created a fruitful atmosphere for discussions, startup pitches and much more.

Her Majesty’s Consul-General for Hessen, Mr. Rafe Courage, and Britain’s Ambassador to Germany, Sir Sebastian Wood KCMG, welcomed the attendees and underlined the importance of close collaboration between Germany and the UK in FinTech, especially in the coming years considering the growth of digitalization in banking and consequences of Brexit. “Scientific and technological cooperation must increase, there is no political discussions on that,” said Ambassador Wood. Hubertus Väth, managing director of Frankfurt Main Finance, elaborated on the Financial Centre Frankfurt’s role as the destination of choice after Brexit, stating that “Frankfurt is building a bridge to London for financial institutions and FinTech in particular.”

 

A major part of the forum was dedicated to startup pitches – ten FinTech companies presented their solutions for the future of banking and digitalization. Much attention was given to improving digital rights and consent management to protect consumer data. The integration of analytics systems for asset managers, secure data operations, and the role of artificial intelligence for banking were just several examples of the advancements that FinTech startups offer the finance sector in the UK and Germany.

During the panel, moderated by Dr. Martin Deckert (niiio finance group), Lucie Haß (Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen), Steffen Seeger (digitalplus), Christian Nehk (Barclays Bank) and Nektarios Liolios (Startupbootcamp FinTech) addressed questions about costs, competition, compliance and growth of FinTech and banking. All panelists agreed that digitalization in banking and the collaboration with FinTech startups has rapidly increased over last five years. However, there is still room for new solutions and innovative ideas in both markets. “Five years ago, Germany was far behind but now it is a place to be, it is a success for everybody,” said FinTech pioneer Nektarios Liolios.

Panelists and participants concurred that regulations may differ between countries; however, common trends apply. Large financial services companies and banks require more time to implement smart technological solutions, nevertheless the urgency for digitalization can no longer be denied as it may have been in 2013. According to Sir Sebastian Wood, Brexit and its resulting shifts in migration and trade policies does not undermine the fact that the UK is willing to cooperate with Europe, especially on FinTech IT matters. “Wir müssen Freunde bleiben,” exclaimed Ambassador Wood in German. The concluding remarks of his keynote corresponded nicely with Hubertus Väth’s position that Germany, and Frankfurt in particular, could indeed become the new bridge between London and Europe.

 

More Information: FinTech Forum On Tour