Fintech firms look to Ireland

Ireland could be a location choice for firms in the burgeoning financial technology (fintech) industry post- Brexit, according to a report from KPMG.

Fintech firms look to Ireland

The suggestion comes as Barclays confirmed its new base in Dublin following its decision to cement its presence ahead of Brexit.

The KPMG report said that fintech bosses were taking more time than other financial institutions like banks and insurers to make a firm decision on relocation.

Fintech describes technological advances within finance, such as retail banking, digital wallets, share trading apps and online financial advice.

Global funding to fintechs doubled in the second quarter of 2017 to more than €7.1bn. In Europe, fintech investment more than doubled to more than €2bn, including over $230m in Ireland, the report said.

KPMG head of technology Anna Scally said: “As the prospect of a hard Brexit becomes more real, we’ve seen financial services companies authorised in London searching for alternative locations, and Ireland is high on that list.

“While regulators are pushing major banks and insurers to come up with a Plan B, fintechs haven’t had to be as quick to make decisions. But expect to see fintechs increasingly examining their options over the next six months,” she said.

The US and Europe saw the vast majority of fintech investment, with each accounting for €2bn. Asia lagged significantly behind the other regions with $760m invested. In Ireland, fintech start-up Plynk recently raised $28m (€24m) from international investors Swiss Privée.

Meanwhile, Barclays has confirmed it has agreed a 20-year lease with Green REIT at its One Molesworth Street development. The company - had announced it would ramp up its Irish presence last month.

The development is expected to be completed this year but there has been no confirmation of when Barclays will move in.

Barclays will take more than half of the space in the building.

Green REIT said discussions are ongoing with prospective tenants to fill the rest of the building.

It emerged in January that Barclays had settled on Dublin to serve UK-based finance companies if they lost easy access to the EU.

Barclays staff moved to or hired in Dublin could include senior managers, derivatives specialists, currency traders, compliance and human resources staff, joining 100 existing staff in Ireland.

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