Fintech has moved from the fringes of European finance to its core, but performance varies widely. If all countries could match the best in region, the economic benefits would be considerable.
The deteriorating macroeconomic environment in both Europe and the world has hit fintechs hard, with valuations declining and access to financing becoming more difficult.1 Viewed from a long-term perspective, however, European fintechs continue to gain in strength and relevance for customers and the economy. In each of the seven largest European economies, as measured by GDP, at least one fintech ranks among the top five banking institutions.2
Strong fintechs offer customers greater choice and convenience. The competition they bring to banking systems is already helping modernize the financial sector ecosystem in several European countries. In this article and the accompanying in-depth report, we focus on three key aspects of Europe’s fintech sector: founding, funding, and scaling—that is, fintechs’ ability to set up in the first place, the ease with which they can access capital, and how well they can grow and thrive.
Our analysis highlights growing fintech activity in every European country. But we also find a wide divergence of maturity and performance among fintech ecosystems by country, with substantial gaps between the top one-third and the rest (Exhibit 1). Two countries in particular stand out for their superior fintech ecosystem performance: the United Kingdom and Sweden.