​From peer to peer lenders and cross-border transfers to mobile payments and trading platforms, FinTech represents a formidable proportion of London’s flourishing digital economy.

London sets the pace for FinTech start-ups, creating £20billion of revenue in 2014 - a figure that is predicted to double by 2020. So why do so many FinTech companies choose to set up in London in preference of competing, well-established hubs such as New York, Berlin or Singapore?

Factors such as London’s position as a global trading hub, unrivalled access to the world’s markets and a digitally aware government are all important, but where London really stands out is its talent.

Employees at Transferwise's London office

Employees at Transferwise

“Proximity to subject matter expertise” has been identified as a defining factor for London FinTech, differentiating it from other global hubs, with London’s FinTech sector boasting more the 44,000 employees. These figures are higher than either New York and San Francisco, with a further 360,000 employed with London’s financial services.

Couple this with the 1.5 million people employed in knowledge-based sectors (including Digital Media, Banking and Management Consultancy), the influx of talent from across the wider UK and abroad and housing 4 of the world’s top 40 universities the depth London’s talent pool becomes apparent.

London’s healthy digital economy does lead however to substantial competition for this talent, not only coming from overseas FinTech hubs but large tech companies and other industries. The likes of Google, Apple and Facebook all have their UK headquarters in London, and their pull factors pose a threat FinTech businesses who risk losing out on top talent.

Google's London office

Inside Google’s London office

Similarly, shortage of talent remains a concern within FinTech and it is well documented that the growth experienced over the last few years will only be sustained in the long-term if businesses have access to top talent.

As well as lobbying government for an improved visa process, businesses need to look closer to home and nurture home grown talent, developing a talent pipeline. CEOs can future-proof their business by hiring professionally-competent candidates, whether from traditional banking or at an earlier stage, and training them on the job.

Propel work closely with a number of leading FinTech companies, helping them source top talent to build upon their successes. If you’re looking to recruit talent into your business then please contact enquiries@propellondon.com to discuss how we can help.