A delegation of the leading minds of the Belgian Digital Finance crossed the channel to make an official overture to London's fintech sector.

B-Hive, the successor of Eggsplore, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Innovate Finance, the trade body for British financial technology sector.  The document was signed at the Belgian Embassy in London in the presence of the Belgian Minister of Finance Johan Van Overtveldt, CEO of Innovate Finance Lawrence Wintermeyer, CEO of Eggsplore Wim De Waele, founder of Eggsplore Jurgen Ingels, Fabian Vandenreydt from SWIFT Innotribe and Xavier De Pauw from FinTech Belgium and start-ups Swanest, Silverfin, Qover and Monizze and the City of London Corporation.

Following the increasing distress after Britain's decision to leave the European Union, there were some worries about the fate and relocation of companies working in fintech. But Van Overtveldt has remarked that London will remain the main centre for fintech in Europe as he guaranteed that there is a huge talent pool in there that "even with Brexit, won't go away just like that".

The purpose of building close ties with London is different: for B-Hive, it is both interesting to scout technology companies that want to establish offices on the continent and to see London as a natural destination for Belgian technology companies that are looking to expand their activities into the UK. 

“B-Hive connects FinTech players and puts the ecosystem in Belgium on an international agenda. As a start-up, this helps us to get access to knowledge and supports our vision to provide investment services across Europe.”  Silvan Schumacher, CEO of Belgian startup Swanest

B-Hive, which was one of the recommendations of a high-level expert group called together by Van Overtveld, is a collaborative innovation platform in which a number of major banks, insurers and market infrastructure players started working together on common innovation challenges and building bridges to the start-up and scale-up community. Eggsplore, founded by Jurgen Ingels is the initiative serving as the base for this new platform.

London is the financial technology capital of the world and as such a thriving hub, it has struck similar agreements with Australia, Singapore and South Korea. 

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By Gabriela Fernández Scala