Brexit vs Catalonia Independence: Which Affects Fintech More?


You might be surprised to learn that many in the European financial community believe that the Catalonia Independence Referendum will have a greater long term effect on fintech than Brexit.  Barcelena, within Catalonia, is currently considered a major European fintech hub, but Forbes is reporting that many fintech firms located there have already made the decision to relocate to Madrid or Valencia, in order to mitigate any potential downside risk with a “Catelexit”, should it occur.  (Cindy Taylor/Publisher)

“With Carles Puigdemont’s position now being uncertain, the uncertainty surrounding Catalonia is having more of an impact on fintech than the EU referendum ever did or Brexit ever will. Financial institutions based in Catalonia have already decided to relocate to cities like Madrid or Valencia, minimizing the potential of Barcelona continuing to be a top fintech hub.

I spoke to executives at three fintechs based and operating in Barcelona, Dinube, ID Finance and STRANDS, about their stance on the potential independence of Catalonia, whether it has affected their business or if they envision it making an impact in the near future. According to Dutch bank ING, a Catalexit would result in negative effects that ‘proportionally exceed’ those of Brexit. Alongside this, ING’s Geoffrey Minne wrote in “Catalonia: the cost of being single,” that ‘as with Brexit, we believe that any Catalexit would plunge the region into a long period of uncertainty and would most probably be negative for the private sector.’