Global survey rates Toronto as the world's fourth leading fintech hub

Z/Yen Group, the same body responsible for producing the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI), recently conducted a global survey of more than 300 unique respondents. The report, Trends and Innovations in Financial Services 2017 rates Toronto the world's fifth leading fintech centre and the fourth leading fintech centre of the future, ahead of both Singapore and Hong Kong.

Commissioned by the Toronto Financial Services Alliance (TFSA), the survey probed ten prevailing trends in financial services, including Brexit, increased concern over data protection, regulatory pressures and transparency in asset and wealth management. The questionnaires also examined a number of specific fintech areas including cybersecurity, blockchain and new payment and transaction systems. It also assessed how different financial centres may fare in light of such innovations taking place.

Highlights from the report:

  • Respondents identified cybersecurity, big data analytics, blockchain (mutual distributed ledgers) and payment/transaction systems the most significant areas of fintech for firms.
  • More than half of respondents recognize technology startups as "the real innovators" in fintech, while banks followed in a distant second place.
  • Retail banking, insurance and wealth management were rated the most likely to be disrupted by advances in fintech.
  • Nearly 60% of respondents believe the economic slowdown will have little or no effect on financial centres, while 25% believe it will have a negative effect (conversely, 13% believe it will have a positive or very positive effect).
  • Availability of skilled staff, regulatory environment and access to finance were rated the three most important factors for attracting fintech companies to financial centres.

Related: Global IT firms are relocating to Toronto - Here's why

Toronto – very strong government support, low cost of accommodation, great cultural diversity and plenty of capital available


According to Reuters, venture capital financing for Canada's fintech sector jumped by 74% to $317.9 million from 2015 to 2016. Global leaders in financial technology are already taking advantage of the Toronto-Waterloo fintech corridor, recognizing it as one of the world's most dynamic fintech hubs. In fact, recent Ontario fintech sector investors include Square, PayPal, Oberthur Technologies and L&T InfoTech.

Toronto is the second largest financial centre in North America, and Ontario has the second largest concentration of technology companies. This unique ecosystem has created a perfect environment for a promising international fintech hub to emerge

– Janet Ecker, President and CEO, TFSA

Learn more about Canada's emerging hotbed of fintech innovation


January 19, 2017
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