A Brexit vote may have rattled the U.K.'s ambition to become the world's Fintech capital, but the country's biggest lenders are finally opening doors to sector players for tighter collaboration.
Investment into British financial technology companies has dropped 26% to $532 million so far this year, according to a recent survey by Innovate Finance and obtained by TheStreet, less than half of the $1.09 billion recorded last year. It's also a striking contrast to the 27% increase -- to $15.2 billion -- witnessed globally, with China and the U.S. leading the way.
The not-for-profit association, which represents more than 250 Fintech players in the U.K., attributed the decline largely due to uncertainties surrounding the country's June 23 vote to leave the European Union. A steep decline of 33% was witnessed in the second quarter, when the vote was cast.
And with Brexit confusion lingering - a leaked memo Tuesday accused the government of having "no overall strategy" for leaving the EU - the coast may not clear for awhile for the Fintech players, a majority of which are waiting for policies to be set on passporting and immigration, among others.
In another part of town, however, change is slowly happening regardless of the outcome.
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) rolled out its tie-up with Iwoca -- which stands for instant working capital -- a London-based Fintech player which lends to small businesses utilizing technology to check an applicant's data and enable speedy credit checks.
Under this scheme, which also involves RBS tying up with four other alternative lenders, the relationship managers of the Edinburgh-based bank can now refer small business customers across the country to Iwoca for credit where the bank cannot.