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IFGS 2019 Speaker Spotlight: Sophie Stevenson-Guibaud, Managing Director Europe, Fidor Group

What is it about IFGS that brings you back every year? OR What is it about IFGS that has brought you to the event this year?

IFGS is the flagship event for Fintech in the UK and one of the main ones in Europe. I go back there every year as it is an excellent way to keep up to date with where the industry is going too as well as see Key Fintech stakeholders all in the same place.

What is the biggest change you have seen in the FinTech industry over the past 12 months?

Banking as a service is finally picking up, banks now do understand the benefits of using external providers to launch new independent digital banking propositions faster. Cryptocurrency & Blockchain hype is over (for now), leading to hopefully a focus on the use cases that really make sense and add value to different industries. Open Banking has arrived, not yet the game-changing opportunity we were expecting as initiatives need to grow and people be aware of it, but it is coming!

What do you believe to be the most vital implication of Brexit on UK Fintech?

I would mention the:

– the uncertainty around banking licence passporting possibility or not which is clearly a concern

– the potential impact on hiring market with less people able to work in the UK or attracted to move to the UK in such a contexty

– the potential impact on UK economy and banks, putting pressure on innovation budgets Fintech companies usually tap into to sell their solutions

What are your go-to reads for industry updates and insights?

– Fintech Insider podcast: really love to listen to it on the go to keep updated with the latest news in the industry

-Fintech Futures which creates very insightful pieces

– The journal of digital banking, of which I am part of the review board, as those are longer and in-depth articles written by leading industry experts

– Finextra for the day to day news

If you could be stuck in a lift with 3 people who would it be and why?

I believe Financial Inclusion is one of the main themes of the century and that great things can be achieved. As such, I would love to have the following 3 people to discuss the concept of the most forward thinking service in the area:

– Bill Gates for its focus and expertise on financial services for the poor

– Elon Musk for its creativity and forward thinking as he hasn’t tackled yet the financial services industry

– Carolin Gabor to launch the financial inclusion company created out of this discussion 😉

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