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Deloitte UK's Head of FinTech, Louise Brett, opened by pointing the disruptive effect that digital technologies (ai, blockchain, robotics), social technologies (platform-based business models, and the power of the crowd), the increasingly connected global word, and the sharing economy are having on the FinTech ecosystem.

What is the role of the Global FinTech hubs in this innovation?

The Global FinTech Hubs Federation (GFHF), launched last year as an initiative supported by Innotribe and Innovate Finance, is an independent and inclusive global network of emerging and established FinTech hubs that helps to foster innovation across the world’s financial services industry. As a follow-up to the Connecting Global FinTech: Hub Review 2016 released at Sibos last year, the Connecting Global FinTech: Hub Interim Review 2017 was released by Deloitte in collaboration with the Global FinTech Hubs Federation.

The report takes into account both hard and soft data to compare the status of 44 global Hubs on the basis of the FinTech sector development in that location. Deal value from these FinTech hubs accounted for 17.3 billion of the 17.4 billion of FinTech deals this last year.

Brett referenced a few trends from the interim report:

Regulatory Sandboxes:

Since the FCA opened the regulatory sandbox in 2016, 16 regulators have set up or committed to set up regulatory sandboxes. Of these, 7 are in Asia and 5 are in Europe. Although the UAE has only recently appeared on the FinTech map, Abu Dhabi already has a live sandbox environment, and Dubai has already committed to a sandbox environment.

Global Cooperation between Regulators

Since the FCA and Australia’s ACIC signed a FinTech cooperation agreement in March 2016, 15 other agreements have been signed by regulators globally. Singapore’s MAS has signed more FinTech agreements (8) than any other regulatory body in the world. The FCA has signed cooperation agreements with 7 regulators (including Singapore’s MAS).

Development agencies, FinTech associations, and other bodies have also signed similar agreements to improve connectedness and innovation globally.

Talent

While on the whole, new European Hubs (particularly those within the European Union) tended to feel that there is good access to talent in their Hubs, other Hubs reported they do not have enough talent for their ecosystems. Access to talent, global movement, visa accessibility, retention of talent, cost of living, and the longer term development of talent all remain top of mind for various FinTech hubs globally.

Many new developments in this area continue to unfold. For example, Singapore's MAS has announced a partnership with 5 polytechnics in Singapore to help graduates land jobs in the FinTech world.

Read the full report and watch the full session below, or see more highlights from IFGS 2017 here:

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