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European fintechs shouldn’t be discouraged from launching in the UK, says FinecoBank

Alessandro Capuano, head of global brokerage at FinecoBank, says: “Brexit will make it more complicated, but not impossible” to launch in the UK.

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The world of fintech was rocked last week at the announcement that N26, Germany’s largest digital bank, would be pulling out of the UK apparently due to Brexit

In the wake of N26’s exit, we spoke to FinecoBank, an Italian digital financial service, that is in the process of increasing its presence in the UK market despite the challenges that Brexit poses. 

FinecoBank was founded in 1999 as a financial service company that specialises in online brokerage.

The Italian bank has over 1.3m clients in Italy and 80 per cent of those clients exclusively use FinecoBank as a one-stop-shop for all their financial needs.

It offers in-app trading services, which currently trades across 26 markets, in more than 50 foreign exchange (FX) pairs and clients can hold 13 different currencies in one account with no fees. 

Alessandro Capuano, head of global brokerage at FinecoBank, told AltFi that: “Brexit is making our lives a little bit more complicated, it’s also making the lives of UK banks who want to stay in Europe more complicated”.

Capuano admitted that while they only have a small customer base in the UK at the moment they are hoping to expand further and are currently in conversation with the UK’s banking regulator to open Fineco’s first UK branch. 

Capuano also told AltFi that he believes because FinecoBank started as a trading platform, then an investment platform and later a bank they have more longevity: “Challenger banks are doing it the other way around, which is easier to sell and easier to acquire clients, but we don’t think that that type of approach is generating enough revenue.”

“The fact that we offer investment and trading is helping justify the effort to launch in the UK, other banks don’t have a unique product and so are likely to concentrate on launching in different markets.”

Similarly, German insuretech startup, Getsafe, has recently launched in the UK with a partnership with Hiscox, after noticing there are no other comparable products in the UK market.

Christian Wiens, CEO and founder of Getsafe, said: “There is no comparable insurance solution for this target group as yet. With our smartphone app, Getsafe will aim to close this gap in the market".

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