Fri, Apr 07, 2017 - Page 11 News List

Almost half of big banks eyeing fintech start-ups


Big banks might have scoffed when a gaggle of financial technology upstarts promised to reinvent their business. Now they want to buy them.

Almost 50 percent of financial services firms around the world plan to acquire fintech start-ups in the next three to five years, according to a report released yesterday by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Eight out of 10 institutions foresee making strategic partnerships with peer-to-peer lenders, digital money transfer platforms and myriad other firms that are reshaping the finance sector.

The findings show that fintech is shifting into a new deal-making phase, said Steve Davies, the head of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ fintech practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

“Fintech collaboration is not about jumping on the latest bandwagon — it’s about finding the best, most efficient way to deliver your business strategy and ultimately better serve your customers,” Davies said in a statement. “The financial services industry has embraced fintech.”

Fear might be motivating finance leaders as much as the desire for innovation.

The 20-page report, titled Redrawing the Lines: FinTech’s Growing Influence on Financial Services, found that four of five banking executives worry they are going to lose revenue to independent fintech firms.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said it polled 1,308 financial services managers worldwide for the study.


If banks do embark on a fintech shopping spree, that could be a windfall for venture capitalists.

Investors plowed more than US$132 billion into fintech start-ups globally between 2010 and last year, according to KPMG International and CB Insights, a New York research firm.

Last year, there were 51 acquisitions or initial public offerings of fintech firms in deals worth US$1.1 billion.

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