Brussels uses Brexit concerns to charm UK fintech
The Brussels Capital Region has launched a campaign to try and attract UK-based businesses in insurance and financial services, which require a EU base of operations following Brexit.
Not a week goes by without someone attempting to profit from Brexit. It’s always in the news and earlier this month we reported that the UK’s draft Brexit deal did get some conditional love from the fintech industry.
In the latest chapter in the saga, Cécile Jodogne, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade at the Region of Brussels, offers this sales pitch: “Despite the UK and EU establishing in principle, a Withdrawal Agreement, there will still be plenty of room for uncertainty until the end of the transition period.”
She adds: Businesses operating in both in the UK and the EU need to prepare now for any eventuality, and as a priority ensure that they can continue to operate seamlessly across the UK and EU. The only way to guarantee this is to establish a base of operations within the EU and, as the Brexit deadline bears down upon us, businesses need to make a decision now on where to place these operations.”
The UK is set to leave the European Union in just over four months. Backed by the Brussels’ regional government, regional trade associations and industry bodies, the initiative aims to bring UK-based businesses to the Belgian capital.
According to the Brussels Capital Region, the city has a “vibrant financial and fintech ecosystem, with a wide range of banks, asset managers, brokerage firms, leasing companies and credit institutions”.
Jodogne adds: “Just two hours from London on the Eurostar, and well-connected to Europe and the rest of the world, Brussels is a prime location for British and any other businesses looking to maintain and grow their presence on the European and global stage.”
To back all this up, the Agence Bruxelloise pour l’Accompagnement de l’Entreprise (Brussels Business Support Agency) is also offering free-of-charge a range of solutions and advice for start-ups and scale-ups in Brussels and beyond, as well as services focussing on strategy, finance, clustering and internationalisation.
Back in July, Oracle chose the bureaucrat-infested city of Brussels to roll out its fintech innovation programme to Europe.
The firm said it plans to dedicate additional European staff and resources to set up “mutually monetisable” relationships with fintechs and digital banking firms.