Back in May 2017, France elected Emmanuel Macron as their new president and with a background as an investment banker, the financial and fintech industries were excited to welcome a new leader who truly understood their sectors.
During the election campaign, opponent Marine Le Pen laid out economic pledges which were clearly Eurosceptic as she pledged to bring back the Franc. Meanwhile, Macron’s financial experience positioned him as the best presidential candidate for helping to grow and develop the financial technology sector.
The initial hope was that Macron would help France’s industry become a key global contender. At the time it was ranked the 7th biggest fintech hub in Europe and a lack of investment combined with rigid labour laws meant that it was struggling to get close to London’s top spot.
Within two months of his presidency, Macron pledged €10 billion to an innovation fund to ensure that France had the financial backing to embrace the start-up culture that many countries were already profiting from. This seems to further his campaign ideology that innovation and disruption are the key for France’s growth.
While it’s hard to make any revolutionary changes to the fintech industry in under a year, the sector is still feeling uplifted and hopeful by the sentiments that Macron has brought with him. For example, he’s acknowledged and is working to address the taxes faced by start-ups which can often deter them from working in France.
One of the French President’s first focuses was to try and lure some of the talent and businesses away from London as Brexit uncertainty still looms over the city. The benefits of moving to a country on Europe’s mainland like France is that start-ups will still have direct access to the EU market that could potentially be lost if Brexit negotiations go awry. However, with many adopting a ‘wait-and-see’ approach to the UK’s departure from the EU, enticing businesses over the channel has been tough.
The fintech industry is currently booming as the world looks towards less traditional financial methods as the popularity of cryptocurrency, blockchain and interests in a more cashless society continue to grow. In the second quarter of 2017, a reported $5.2 billion was raised in private capital across the world and London has worked hard to make itself the go to location for European fintech businesses looking for success.
Anas Tayach, our IT & Innovation Specialist has been monitoring how France’s new president has been affecting the fintech sector:
“The things Macron has done for France’s fintech industry can be hard to quantify this early on into his tenure as President. However, with billions promised to help fund the country’s innovative start-ups, it’s clear that over the next 5 years Macron is ready to support and help build France into a global tech and finance hub.”
Many countries throughout Europe are struggling to compete against London in the fintech sector, the capital city boasts fintech companies worth over $1 billion including Funding Circle and TransferWise. However, with Macron now at the helm and firmly looking to help build France into a global hub, the opposite side of the channel could become more appealing to start-ups as Brexit talks continue.
Looking for a new role or hiring in France? Message Anas today: firstname.lastname@example.org.