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Dave Carter
Dave Carter
  • 5 Minute Read
  • 17th August 2021

3 of the Best Areas for Finance and Fintech Scale-Ups in London 2021

Few people would contest that London is one of the primary financial centres of the world.

In this article we look at why finance and fintech scale-up companies have chosen London as their base, which areas they gravitate towards and the sorts of office space that is attracting them.

Since the Middle Ages London has been a strategically important financial location. Central London is home to leading financial institutions, the Stock Exchange (the largest in Europe), The Bank of England, private banks, trading and insurance giants.

London offers class-leading infrastructure, advanced communications systems and a regulatory and political framework that gives scale-up finance businesses opportunities to thrive.

London is the number one destination for Fintech businesses

Fintech, (short for financial technology), is the UKs strongest start-up sector. “British fintech companies attracted over £38.4bn of investments in 2019, which was an increase of 91 percent from 2018,” According to KPMG, Rodney Bain, Co-Founder and Managing Director of APEXX Global.

Fintech companies are often market disruptors, delivering real change for consumers and businesses. Fintech scale-ups are benefitting from disassembling financial services and making them more streamlined and efficient. These rapidly evolving businesses are posing a very real threat to traditional banking, lending and payment services.

London’s proposition for fintech is unique: world-class talent, a progressive approach to regulation, access to capital, and proximity to a world leading innovative financial services sector. London companies are currently at the forefront of fintech innovation, including challenger banks, insuretech, AI, paytech, peer-to-peer lending and blockchain.

1. The City of London is the first choice for financial scale-ups

The City of London is a city in itself, often referred to locally as “the square mile”. All of London’s major financial institutions can be found here including The Bank of England and The Stock Exchange. The City has a long history as a financial hub. Modern glass fronted office blocks sit beside ornate historic buildings. During the week, the City is a vibrant, throbbing district, by the weekend it’s eerily quiet.

This booming part of London is tailor made for finance companies. It has multiple transport links both overground and underground. It boasts plentiful bus and taxi services and cycle lanes for the growing number of bikers, and ready access to a large talent pool of financial experts.

There is ample office space, with offices to rent for every size and shape of financial scale-up business.

Serviced offices in the City of London

Most financial scale-ups choose serviced offices because of their overall flexibility. Serviced offices are available to rent short or medium term and come fully furnished with amenities on tap. They are ready to move into and the flexible nature of the rental agreement means that the office space can be expanded or contracted easily and quickly, without penalty. Modern flexible offices offer a variety of formats to cater for all tastes, from private fully serviced offices to coworking and hot-desk space. With so many serviced offices in the City of London, there is a space for all sizes, styles and budgets.

Currently, many office providers are tempting companies back into the City’s offices following the pandemic with attractive promotional offers and discounted rates.

View the range of serviced offices in the City of London here.

2. Canary Wharf – Home to the world’s banks and media organisations

Once a busy riverside storage area for rum and sugar, Canary Wharf on the Isle of Dogs in East London has developed into London’s second major financial district. Canary Wharf is home for world banks like Barclays and HSBC, media organisations and numerous financial services firms.

Over the years the whole docklands area has been developed and expanded. Green spaces, pleasant walkways, water features and regular cultural events have helped give the area a unique and vibrant edge.

Businesses based here value the vast range of amenities available. Workers are spoilt for choice with so many shops, bars, cafes and restaurants in easy reach. There is something for everyone, to suit all tastes and budgets.

The opportunities to rub shoulders with senior decision makers in the financial world is difficult to find elsewhere and, at Canary Wharf, fintech scale-ups can afford to set up base in some of the most impressive contemporary offices in London.

The best serviced offices in Canary Wharf

It is not just banks and large organisations that take up residence in Canary Wharf. Start-ups and scale-ups are equally attracted to the buzzing atmosphere and the wealth of serviced offices to rent. Finding a meeting space alongside cafes and bars is easy, with 14M sq ft of office and retail space in the vicinity.

Serviced offices in Canary Wharf are available in all sizes, styles and prices. Perhaps the most iconic structure is at One Canada Square, the 774ft tall skyscraper, the UK’s second tallest building. A serviced office in this prestigious landmark building is available from as little as £375 pp/pm.

Many flexible offices like this one at Bank Street E14 are a just a few minutes’ walk from Canary Wharf station, with access to the Jubilee line and DLR network towards London Bridge and Bank stations. Heron Quays and West India Quay stations are also nearby and provide further access across the DLR network. Unlike many of London’s central locations, Canary Wharf has ample, affordable, secure parking and excellent road links. Furthermore, London City Airport is a short distance away at Royal Docks, conveniently linking London with the rest of the UK, Europe and America. No wonder Canary Wharf is a popular choice for financial scale-ups.

View the range of serviced offices in Canary Wharf here.

3. Westminster and St. James welcome fast growing finance scale-ups

Westminster is one of the most instantly recognisable parts of London and is known throughout the world. Home of the British Government, Westminster was once a Royal residence as well as being home to England’s law courts.

Westminster is a world class location and is seen as the primary economic powerhouse and the heart of London. Iconic neighbourhoods of the Borough such as Marble Arch, West End, Piccadilly, St James Park and Mayfair offer unrivalled attractions with some of the best museums, galleries, theatres and parks in the world. Finance companies are drawn to Westminster to be at the centre of some of the finest luxury retail, hospitality and culinary delights the capital has to offer. Westminster’s quality of life and business credentials attract high numbers of financial start-ups and scale-ups and help drive the UK’s largest evening economy.

With over 120,000 businesses calling Westminster their home and over a million visitors and 650,000 workers per day crowding the area, Westminster is the largest employment and visitor hub in the UK.

The best serviced offices in Westminster and St James

Finance companies have a huge range of serviced offices to choose from in Westminster and St. James. These flexible workspaces are high quality, fully furnished and packed with amenities. Many offices provide a raft of useful facilities including: 24/7 access, meeting rooms, breakout space, fast WiFi, air conditioning, outdoor space and bike racks. Offices are available for short- or medium-term rent and expanding or reducing workspace is quick and easy.

This refined gated office in Old Queen Street is sure to impress and offers a first class, luxury experience. Located in the heart of Westminster, close to Westminster tube, it gives easy access to the Jubilee, Circle and District lines.

If you are looking for a more contemporary workspace, this striking new office in King Street in the heart of St. James will provide financial scale-ups with everything they need, and that all important room to grow.

View the range of serviced offices available in Westminster and St James here.