Brexit could ‘strengthen London’s position as global finance centre’, says Klarna CEO

The UK’s exit from the EU could mark an opportunity for the capital to strengthen its position as a global finance centre by drawing in more FinTechs and banks, according to Klarna’s chief executive.

Sebastian Siemiatkowski told the Financial Times (FT) that Klarna was considering London for a public offering but said that markets are “extremely overheated” and will probably experience a fall later in the year.

“As Brexit has happened, it gives London an opportunity to write even better regulations for the financial sector. That is going to benefit London standing outside of the EU . . . People expected all the banks will move away [from the UK]; I think it’s the opposite,” Siemiatkowski told the newspaper.

A recent funding round worth $1 billion valued Klarna, best known for its Buy Now, Pay Later service, at $31 billion.

Earlier this month, the FinTech announced plans to double its UK headcount over the next year and expand office space in both London and Manchester.

The Klarna boss told the FT that he had been meeting with the UK government and said that it had a “keen interest” in attracting FinTechs.

Siemiatkowski also said that he preferred risk-based regulation to prescriptive rules, especially in areas like know-your-customer checks, anti-money laundering, and privacy.

“Those kind of opportunities lie for the UK now: to go through regulations and look at ones that are too prescriptive,” he told the paper on Friday.

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