Luxembourg for Finance was present at Sibos in Singapore, the leading financial services event which gathered more than 7,000 international participants of the banking and IT sector. This year’s conference focused on the digitalization of financial services and the opportunities and risks following therefrom. Major topics evolved around payments, blockchain and compliance.
Nicolas Mackel, CEO of LFF, participated in two panels organised by Innotribe, a SWIFT spin-off focusing on FinTech. The ‘Why banks need FinTech hubs’ session featured besides Luxembourg major FinTech hubs such as New York, Silicon Valley, London, Sydney and Singapore. The discussion evolved around the success factors of FinTech hubs, underlining that each financial centre plays out different strengths. In the case of Luxembourg these are its position as a leading European cross-border financial centre (#3 in the European Union according to the latest GFCI), it’s dominant role as an e-payment hub, its openness to innovation underlined by the licensing of the first virtual currencies operator as a EU payment institution (link) and as well as hard facts such as a state-of-the-art ICT infrastructure and its excellent rankings in technological readiness (WEF) and ability to attract talent (WEF and Insead).
A second panel on ‘Why collaborate with startups’ concentrated on the advantages of different jurisdictions for startups. With a business-minded government setting the stage, start-ups find in Luxembourg a broad ecosystem of public and private support initiatives. FinTechs in particular choose the Grand Duchy for its proximity to the financial centre, with numerous players providing incubators and accelerators for startups in different stages of development, as well as sandboxing opportunities and mentoring. Various private and public sources offer seed and early stage funding. Research is considered a crucial point, with the University collaborating closely with the financial industry through projects focused on issues like security or big data.