LFP148 – Special Episode! The Lord Mayor Of London: The City, Promoting US-UK Fintech Ties & Regional Fintech

Do you known that William Russell’s – the 692nd Lord Mayor of London – first trip was to the US to promote Fintech and that he is perhaps the first Lord Mayor of London to have visited all the regions and is well up-to-speed on regional Fintech? No me neither before we spoke. However his mayoral theme is “Global UK – Trade, Innovation and Culture” which is super-important in this Brexited year.

What actually is The City – a phrase we all use? What is the Lord Mayor and what is his role?

How does the geographic district relate to FS as a whole – much of which is in Canary Wharf and spread around the UK?

How does the CIty’s soft power work and what have some Fintech’s already found out about the influence it can bring? What is US investors’ attitude to UK Fintech at present?

Also a small prize for spotting a splendid ancient Clock chiming away in the background of this recording in Mansion House 🙂

All these topics and more are discussed in this episode including: Continue reading

LFP147 – Going Global – Culture and Business Around The World w/Aneesh Varma CEO Aire

In this Brexiting Age the UK must turn its thoughts once again worldwide – how does one do business around the world? How important is localisation vs globalisation? What role does culture play? Aneesh Varma is the founder of Aire, one of Fintechs longest-standing credit-rating firms who have scored over $10bn of VAR to date. Having lived in 11 countries and had businesses in 4, Aneesh knows more than most on this topic. 

Aneesh was awarded the British Council’s 2009 Young Entrepreneur.and was nominated for the  European Commission’s Entrepreneur of the Year 2014.

Having lived in so many places and self-described as a “3rd culture citizen” he is well placed (ha! see what I did there :-D) to give us some perspective on important 21stC issues of identity, culture and migration and in particular how they affect business and Fintech.

Topics discussed on the show include: Continue reading

LFP146 – Creating Regtech’s Robocop – Automating AML et al w/Charlie Delingpole ComplyAdvantage

Charlie is one of London’s greatest serial entrepreneurs – with ground-breaking the Student Room and Market Invoice under his belt, as an MLRO he saw the huge gap in the market for using AI/ML to solve both the Financial Crime problem and businesses problems in risking prison if they get it wrong. Thus he formed ComplyAdvantage in 2014 which now has offices in four countries around the world.

This whole area has many dimensions. First it’s a regulatory necessity – Fintechs, FS and increasingly others (Apple had to pay a big fine recently) need to Do The Right Thing. Second its a huge resource drain, traditionally very manually done. But third the MLRO is the poor bod that will be picked on to go to jail.

How does Fintech/FS handle these challenges?

What can computers and a smart bunch of folks do to solve this in a 21stC way?

All this and more are covered in this episode. Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP145 – New Year Special! 2020 Hindsight – A Decade In Fintech

In this show we review a decade in Fintech. Although the earliest Fintechs were formed around 2004/5 (WorldFirst, Zopa) many big names formed around 2010 (Funding Circle, Ratesetter, MarketInvoice). The LFP formed started covering the scene in mid-2014, the year of the first London Fintech week and the year that the Fintech word first hit the broadsheets. Using the shownotes at the time as a diary I trace the evolution of the promises, the hopes, the disappointments, the old innovations and the new innovations. Where did it all go?

No long show notes this week – it is a podcast podcast and in listening you can draw your own conclusions – indeed that’s the point of using dozens of real world examples as seen at the time not as seen through the dark glass of memory.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the London Fintech scene and wider UK Fintech scene and to all listeners. Want to know what the next decade might hold? Check out the previous decade and join the dots…!

LFP144 – Convergence: The Innovative Combination of Different Silos w/Sam O’Connor CEO Coconut

So far Fintech has lionised technologies – APIs, Open Banking, AI/ML and so forth. But from a different perspective these are just glues to connect things that haven’t been connected before to make new propositions not previously possible. Although this has been touched on so far – marketplaces aren’t the best example – after all marketplaces are tens of thousands of years old.

In this episode we are joined by serial entrepreneur Sam O’Connor, CEO of Coconut to discuss convergence – the gluing together of components which were previously seen as different things.

Our smartphones glue together things we would have historically done in different places using different devices – camera, mp3 player, and emails for example, In the same way Coconut are focusing on micro-businesses into which all of us indies seem to need to fold ourselves these days and combining banking, accounting and tax in one place – items which historically would have been seen as different propositions.

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP143 – Results From Analysing A Decades Profitability Data On One Hundred UK Fintechs w/Michael Pearson

Michael conducts the most in-depth analysis of Companies House data on UK Fintechs that I am aware of. That earlier this year he partnered with KPMG and Google on his Fintech Funding and Financing study says a lot. So what can we learn from a decades’s data on UK Fintechs?

Well first that only five are making a profit!

Michael recently updated his study which includes nearly one hundred Fintechs.

In this episode we focus on trends in profitability – which are not all as you might expect – although the report covers many more parameters especially around fund-raisings.

After a decade for the longest running Fintechs we should be able to start to draw conclusions. What are they?

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP142 – Capital Markets Fintech & “Grown-Up” Digital FS w/ Martin Boyd FIS

Capital Markets is the beating heart of FS – far higher tech and far more hardcore than just bank accounts and it is by definition the most complex area. What can we and Fintech learn from the super-big boys working in this world?

FIS systems process an astonishing amount of $9 trillion moved around the world per annum. They acquired the super-well known FS systems vendor Sunguard systems at the end of 2015

Martin Boyd is President of Capital Markets at FIS and is thus well-placed to give us the view on FS and “digital” from the most hardcore high volume end of the industry spectrum.

Indeed as we all regularly gloss “digital” as being “interweb + smartphone” what does digital actually mean when we are talking about wholesale markets for megabanks – I assume it isn’t “interweb + smartphone” – what does it mean in this context?

What we can learn, the view from the top of the mountain and much more are discussed. Topics include: Continue reading

LFP141 – Open-Banking: Super-Important for SMEs w/Matt Cockayne CCO Yapily

Open-banking hype has generally focused on the consumer marketplace. However SMEs can potentially benefit more especially as they currently pay for banking services. Accounts and transactions can be consolidated improving cashflow management and payments can be made at a far lower cost and far faster as well as cool stuff like including “pay me” buttons in invoices to speed up receivables.

In this episode Matt Cockayne of Yapily takes us through the SME open banking marketplace and we cover a schematic of how it all works.

How do you connect to open banking? How does authroisation work? Is it just a set of pipes connecting accounts or is there added value taking place.

We get the whiteboard out and sketch the whole process.

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP140 – The Fourth UK Retail Credit Bureau Is A Fintech! Freddy Kelly CEO Credit Kudos

The Retail Credit Bureau market has been in place for decades but disruption is coming to the market in the shape of Credit Kudos who help people make faster more accurate credit decisions. They have proved that this new source of data enables better credit decisions.

Formed in 2015 in anticipation of  ‘open data”  (a superior term in this context to Open Banking) they got by with screen scraping but now have a commanding lead with this new technology. Contrary to my inbox there aren’t a million firms doing new credit bureau services – only Credit Kudos.

In this episode we look at how open data and Fintech are changing the assessment of retail credit decisions.

Topics discussed include: Continue reading

LFP139 – A Fintech That Is Globally The Largest Non-Bank In Its Sector – Global Trade & Supply Chain Finance w/ Peter Cook PrimeRevenue

Not many Fintechs dominate their sector let alone in one of the biggest markets in the world. PrimeRevenue was formed in 2003 and is the largest non-bank supplied of Supply Chain Finance in the world (working capital finance for global trade). They facilitate more than $200bn of payments per annum for 20,000 clients. In this show we dive into what it is that such a Fintech does. What can other Fintechs learn from one of the global best in Fintech?

Peter Cook who is head of all non-US sales talks us through how global trade actually works and the staggering sums of money that can be released from working capital using the appropriate techniques and how this can be win:win for vendor and buyer.

Topics discussed include: Continue reading