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What Will be the Long-term Outcome of FinTech’s Challenge to the Finance Industry?

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Editor’s Remarks:
With the world’s biggest FinTech conference taking place in London this week (the Innovate Finance Global Summit) we asked our readers what they think about the long-term impact that the rapidly growing financial technology sector will have on the traditional banking and finance industry. The idea that one side would come out on top of the other was not particularly popular. 19% of our readers thought that incumbent banks are likely to ward off any serious challenges, perhaps struck by recent trends in some parts of the finance sector, where the rapid growth of FinTech disruptors has prompted big banks to take extra measures to grow their R&D budgets, and even lay off personnel in areas like asset management where more sophisticated software is reducing the need for human involvement. 21% thought that some disruptors will replace incumbents, perhaps more impressed by unicorns like TransferWise and Blockchain (the bitcoin wallet provider) who seem to be taking over specific services. The most popular prediction was that old and new will end up collaborating, with 60% favourable to the idea. This certainly seems to be supported by how many FinTech success stories seem to come from doing specific services well, which could be integrated into traditional banks’ bigger client bases and capital cushions. What’s happening now, though, highlights how the line between collaboration and domination can be blurred: a new survey by Simmons and Simmons suggests that almost a third of banks and asset managers plan to buy a FinTech firm in the next 18 months.

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