Miguel Angel Redondo, delegate for Economy – Madrid City Council recently took part in an interview for the Madrid Investment Attraction Bulletin talking about the advantages of the City of Madrid as a major European financial centre and an international fintech capital.
Mr Redondo explained that Madrid has the support system and ability to support all FDI into the city for a variety of reasons..
Madrid already boasts a high concentration of multinational companies who are headquartered in Spain as well as foreign capital in the services sector (especially financial) due to the fact it is the political, institutional and economic capital of the country. The capital is also home to three of the largest financial institutions in the country (Santander, BBVA and Mapfre) so it just makes sense that other financial institutions and services also want to locate in Madrid.
When you consider that the main regulatory agencies in Spain, for example the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC), the National Currency and Stamp Factory (FNMT), the General Directorate of the Treasury and, of course, the Bank of Spain along with other important multilateral institutions, such as the Inter-American Development Bank , CAF , Latibex , the Ibero-American Institute of Stock Markets or the recently landed CABEI have their headquarters in Madrid, it further illustrates the capacity of the city to foster growth and development.
As host city to all these specialised entities and institutions it immediately creates a fertile environment for other companies in the sector, Madrid also offers a mature market with investors, universities and research centres and science and technology parks – facts which altogether add up to make the city of Madrid one of the main innovation hubs in Europe .
Mr Redondo went on to add some context of Spain which now boasts a diversified, modern and competitive financial system that is fully integrated into international financial markets. The current Spanish financial sector is highly efficient, liquid and transparent, following a period of strengthening through consolidation, capitalisation and resilience by incorporating new technological solutions.
First rate connectivity and infrastructure, competitive operating costs, specialised talent and a favourable environment for business complete the offering which determines Madrid’s perfect positioning as the financial hub of southern Europe and its further favourable growth prospects.
When asked which of the financial subsectors and activities are the most promising prospects for investment growth in the city, the delegate for the economy spoke of the profound changes the Spanish financial sector had faced in recent years due to the market entry of a considerable number of well-capitalised fintech companies and the legal changes that this has brought with it.
He went on to illustrate that if in 2013 there were 50 companies in this sector in Spain, the number of fintech, insurtech and regtech companies is now close to a thousand with most of them being located in Madrid.
“Spain is rapidly becoming an alternative hub to those already established in mature local markets such as Berlin or Stockholm, and has a growing number of sector linked operations with great potential and substantial levels of financing.”
Having gone from looking at fintech with curiosity to being one of the greatest powers in financial technology, Spain was one of the first European countries to authorise its financial Sandbox – the regulators have a willingness to listen and determination to understand all the latest projects in this area.
Madrid is taking advantage of this moment, and there are many reasons why it should. On the one hand, the good business climate and the availability of talent. On the other, competitive salary costs and increased confidence in digital and mobile purchases. Even the widespread use of contactless as a payment method, not only through mobile phones but also through stickers or bracelets, especially among the younger population.
That Madrid is the ideal location for fintech companies is proven by the number of companies present in the Madrid ecosystem and the companies in the sector that have established themselves in the city in recent years. Madrid is home to 45% of the fintech industry in Spain, an ecosystem that, in addition to financial entities, includes close to 500 startups in all types of financial services and more than 300 Insurtech companies.
A direct result of this interest and highlighting the importance of the sector to Madrid brought about the development of the MAD Fintech cluster which brings together a large part of the Madrid ecosystem in the sector and top-level multinationals, promoting its growth.
But what perhaps unequivocally demonstrates the attractiveness of Madrid for companies in the sector is the commitment made by many of them in recent times. From the British Wise , Revolut or Checkout, the Swedish multinational Klarna, the German N26 and Vivid, the French October , NickeI and Qonto to the growth and consolidation of the Dutch Adyen. And the strong existing commitment made by financial multinationals, such as Mastercard, in the last year, by locating innovation centres in the sector in Madrid .
Asked about talent in Madrid, Mr Redondo spoke of the population of more than 3.2 million people and that it is home to a high concentration of professionals in sectors with both technical and business profiles. Madrid is the leading training centre in Spain, with 19 universities, both public and private, and three of the most prestigious business schools in the world. Research infrastructures include 41 CSIC public research centres in Madrid, 11 singular scientific-technological infrastructures and a dense network of scientific-technological parks.
At the same time, Madrid is consolidating a dynamic young ecosystem of startups , venture capital funds, accelerators and incubators in which foreign capital plays an essential role.
Speaking on benefits to fintech companies considering Madrid as a new location Mr Redondo spoke of Madrid Investment Attraction (MIA), for which How2Go are the local contact for UK companies. MIA is the main point of contact and service for foreign investors interested in doing business in the Madrid metropolitan area. MIA is dedicated to being a guide and support to companies in the Fintech and other priority sectors and provide professional services that will support them in a personalised way.
MIA offers personalised information on operational or regulatory aspects related to business activity in Madrid, on incentives or financing-, to the organisation and coordination of visits to suitable locations, as well as the identification and facilitation of contact with other local, regional or institutional areas. nationals, including support in obtaining work permits or visas.
Perhaps one of the most attractive services for foreign Fintech companies are those related to softlanding , which offer free coworking spaces in the city centre, accompanied by specialised advice. This provision of temporary office location allows companies to get to know Madrid and the ecosystem in which they can operate, while they complete the search for their own spaces and start their activity.
How2Go are proud to represent MIA in the UK and can assist you in discovering Madrid. Please contact us at email@example.com