Let’s face it when a large software company announces it’s going to dedicate more staff and resources to a fintech programme in Europe we all think “so what?”
But when the same company selects Brussels over London to centre things, it is more of a “wait a minute” response. Prior to Brexit it would have been a “WTF”, but these days it is difficult to be shocked by some of the goings on in the UK government which creates so much uncertainty for businesses, so “wait a minute” is about right.
So in line with my ”wait a minute” instinct here is a bit more.
Oracle chose Brussels for its European financial technology (fintech) programme base. I wrote about it earlier in the week but because it took Oracle quite some time to answer a couple of questions I could not really dig much into it. The time taken to respond is probably as it took a while to find some answers that did not contain the word Brexit or uncertainty.
My questions and Oracle’s answers are here:
1 – Which other cities were in the bidding and why did Oracle select Brussels?
Answer: “Oracle selected Brussels for its excellent geopolitical location, with institutions ranging from the European Parliament to the European Commission. Belgium also has a history of innovation, for example in the payments space. (So no other cities mentioned and Brussels not traditionally seen as an innovation hotbed)
2 – Does Oracle have any fintech hubs in the UK?
Answer: “The UK fintech market will be well served through our European presence and is an important part of our fintech geography. We will continue to focus on London as a source of fintech-based innovation, and continue to evaluate where to expand our efforts to, based on demand and results”. (So I interpret that as a no.)
I get the feeling big companies will have to have separate fintech centres in the EU and the UK after Brexit, rather than a large Europe-wide centre, most likely in London. What about you? Answers in the comment box please.