Canary Wharf Is London’s FinTech Hotspot

Recent data from CBRE, the property giant, has shown that Canary Wharf is fast becoming the base for London’s financial technology (FinTech) startups.

Traditionally the Silicon Roundabout and Tech City have been lauded as the tech hotspots in the capital, cranking out tech unicorn after tech unicorn. However, Canary Wharf has now started to make some headway and make a name for itself as the new FinTech hotspot.

CBRE have reported that out of the 140 FinTech startups that have recently launched in London, 13 of them have chosen to base themselves in Canary Wharf. Canary Wharf is better known as the spot for more traditional financial companies, whereas the trendier areas like Shoreditch, Whitechapel and Spitalfields (i.e. the Tech City area) were more likely to house the FinTech startups.

So how does Canary Wharf’s 13 FinTech startups compare to other areas in London?

CBRE reports that the South Bank (SE1) has 11, Silicon Roundabout (EC1V) has 10, and Tech City (E1) and the area between Liverpool Street and Shoreditch (EC2A) both have 7.

Some believe that this is a sign FinTech is starting to be accepted by the finance sector, others, however, believe it is purely a sign that Canary Wharf is just cheaper to set up in.

Dan Hammer, Head of CBRE’s CreativeLondon believes that FinTech startups have started to recognise the benefits of being housed in Canary Wharf due to there being a wealth of support from well-established financial giants. He made the following comment: “Canary Wharf has been an ideal home for FinTech startups hoping to stand on the shoulders of the financial giants in the area, especially for the FinTech ‘facilitators’ that play a supportive role for well-established firms in the sector”.

He also discussed the somewhat surprising information regarding the number of FinTech startups on the South Bank, stating that the startups are probably benefitting from “lower rents just outside the City”. He went on to explain how FinTech firms do “tend to group together with likeminded businesses with similar property needs” since this means they are “near customers and within reach of appropriate talent.”