Polish fintech start-ups are being wooed by the UK gov't

Four Polish companies were among the almost 50 European start-up firms from the financial technology sector which met British authorities and investors in London on Wednesday, as part of the European Fintech Mission 2018.

At the invitation of Great Britain's Department for International Trade (DIT), delegates from the companies stayed in the UK on Tuesday and Wednesday, meeting central and regional government officials, investors, as well as representatives of banks and business incubators, all of whom sought to entice them to expand their operations in the country.

The four Polish participants were the leasing platform LeaseLink, Finanteq, which provides solutions for banks and mobile-phone operators, the technology firm IC Solutions and finally More Money, a platform which supplies artificial intelligence (AI)-based banking solutions.

Bartosz Kozinski, an official with the DIT's mission at the British Embassy in Warsaw, said the meetings were designed to show the start-ups "how the UK's world of finance looks and how to use the possibilities of this market to the fullest - not just in London, but throughout the country."

"In our view, there is a real opportunity for these companies to join the existing eco-system with their solutions and achieve success in this competitive environment," the official added.

According to Kozinski, despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, close to 200 Polish firms from various industries are seeking support from the DIT as they explore possibilities to further expand their UK presence, even including acquisition of British companies.

Polish businesses are already represented in the British economy. Notably, as the official said, the clothing-store chain Reserved opened a shop on London's famed Oxford Street last year, while the developer Polcom is building a modular hotel, Marriott Residence Inn, for the English capital's financial district, Canary Wharf. Forty-seven storeys high, it is set to become the tallest building of its kind in the world.

Overall, it estimated that up to around 50,000 Polish firms operate in the UK, while Poles constitute the country's largest national minority, totalling almost one million, according to the British statistical office.