The chief executive of Revolut has warned London will fall behind as a world-leading fintech hub if the government does not prioritise incoming tech talent.
In 2015, Nikolay Storonsky, a Russian native, started digital bank Revolut. After winning Allstar Company of 2018, Storonsky has called upon ministers to introduce a fast-tracked visa process for technology workers. He stresses the importance of this, particularly within software development and data science, warning that without this, London may not stay a global fintech hub for long.
Last month London was revealed as the top European destination for international tech talent, while 2018 saw the UK’s fintech sector take a record $3.3bn (£2.5bn) in funding. Thanks largely to engineering hubs established by the likes of Google and Facebook, London hosts the largest community of software developers on the continent.
“With all of the political uncertainty kicking off right now, lengthy immigration processes and bureaucracy will only slow down the UK fintech industry’s growth, and we risk losing out on the best talent to other EU countries such as Germany and France,” said Storonsky.
According to Storonsky, 70 per cent of Revolut’s tech teams are recruited from abroad.
In order to reach goals like opening 50,000 accounts per day, the fintech firm has said it will need to double its London workforce this year. Revolut currently has 1.9m monthly active users and is opening more than 10,000 accounts per day.
According to fresh data from Silicon Valley Bank, more than 80 per cent of UK startups are planning to expand their workforces this year despite the challenges of Brexit. Additionally, 55 per cent of startups said they do not plan to move their headquarters outside the UK, irrespective of whether a deal is achieved.