London Lord Mayor: UK to bolster fintech partnership with China

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  • The United Kingdom is reportedly interested in bolstering its relationship with China particularly its investors
  • London is Europe’s fintech hub but Brexit will likely affect its position and growth once Britain leaves the EU
  • The London-Shanghai Connect will be launched this year

Great Britain is looking into bolstering its partnership with the People’s Republic of China to get fintech investments, according to London’s Lord Mayor Peter Estlin. Estlin said in an interview that the Asian giant’s role in the global economy has now become more important. He added that he expects closer ties with the country once Britain leaves the European Union.
UK-based fintechs have been dominating the young industry. TransferWise, for example, gained popularity when it made it easier for customers to transfer money internationally. Other London-based competitors built their names because of their affordable overseas transfer rates.

The news came after 275 of Europe’s and the world’s banking and financial institutions moved their operations to other parts of the region. TransferWise has already moved its operations to Brussels. A total of $1.2 trillion left the UK due to the Brexit fallout.

The Lord Mayor is currently in China to promote Britain’s fintech industry. “As we look at things like the foreign investment law coming in, these are opportunities for greater international investment into China,” Estlin told Chinese media before leaving for China. He added that ties between the two countries have gone from strength to strength. Reports say that bilateral trade is now around $92 billion.

The Lord Mayor and his team are set to visit Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. His office told reporters that they will be running fintech forums in said cities to encourage investments.
"I've got some fintech companies coming with me and I'm hoping they will again see our opportunities for them to invest in China", Estlin said.

Shanghai’s Pudong New Area’s Deputy Head Wang Hua said that London has an “advanced environment” for fintech development. He added that he’d like the two sides to work on more projects.

Just this month, the People’s Republic of China adopted a new law regarding foreign investments that will protect overseas investors. It is said to come into effect by the year 2020.
Estlin said London welcomes the new law, noting that it is part of China’s way to open up to new investors. Apart from getting investments from China, the city is looking into investment opportunities in China as well.
"As we look at things like the foreign investment law coming in, these are opportunities for greater international investment into China. And I see that is an opportunity through my visit to discuss that and how we through the City of London in particular and through the UK being a global financial market can continue to direct investing capital into China", Estlin said.

The Lord Mayor also talked about the benefits of the RMB going international as it will help the London-Shanghai Stock Connect, a project that will be launched this year. The connection will enable listed companies to issue shares in the two exchanges.
Multinational credit card and payments processor Barclaycard recently announced its partnership with Alipay. This will help British retailers accept transactions from Chinese visitors, experts say.

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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO at FXcompared and has numerous years of experience in the international finance world, especially within the media, technology and property sectors. Daniel is passionate… Read more

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