Kære læser. Artiklen her er en del af det engelske magasin Copenhagen Fintech. Indholdet er udformet på engelsk, da det også henvender sig til en udenlandsk læserskare, som deltager på eventen Money2020, hvor Berlingske Media er mediapartner. Magasinet er udformet af Berlingske Medias kommercielle redaktion i samarbejde med Copenhagen Fintech. God læselyst.
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Disruptive technologies are already replacing a range of jobs in the financial sector. As a response, The Financial Services Union founded Copenhagen Fintech with a mission to bring back jobs that are relocating to other countries. “The demand for competencies is changing rapidly,” says the union’s chairman.
When the financial crisis hit in 2008, massive layoffs in the financial sector were an inevitable result. So, once the crisis waned some years later, it was not unreasonable to expect jobs to reappear. But, although a lot of new jobs were created, it was not the ones that many people in the financial sector expected.
“We saw how digitisation took over after the crisis and how the demand for traditional financial workers declined,” says Kent Petersen, chairman of the Financial Services Union, before elaborating further:
“Once we took a closer look, we discovered that the number of employees in the financial world was rising, but not in traditional areas such as banking, mortgages, or insurance. If you count in financial technology, employment is not decreasing, but the demand for competencies is changing rapidly.”
This discovery fueled the union’s decision to found an association called Copenhagen Fintech and its appurtenant startup office space in order to support the growth of fintech innovation in Denmark. Ultimately, the goal is to bring back some of the new jobs, which have been going abroad lately, Petersen adds.
Kent Petersen, chairman, Financial Services Union
Not the typical founder
A bet on fintech of this magnitude is not a typical move from a union, which used to stand in opposition to the financial companies on behalf of the workers. It may, in fact, be the first time in history that a financial union is the founding force behind a fintech hub − an act that might be surprising but is completely justifiable, according to Petersen.
“A lot of research show that once a job gets automated, at least one new job is created. The problem was that we couldn’t see it happening in Denmark,” he says and adds that this was mainly because of a lack of the required talent in Copenhagen and because other foreign financial hubs were more attractive to companies.
“So, we realised that if we were to attract the right competencies and establish a hub, we needed to get better at entrepreneurship.”
Three years have passed since that recognition and Copenhagen Fintech is now a thriving hub, where startups, established financial companies, universities and public authorities are working together to revitalise the financial sector.
Broad support in society
One of the strengths of Copenhagen Fintech lies in its broad base of partnerships. They give fintech startups certain advantages by providing easy access to a workspace, legal advice, data from established companies, mentoring, education and contact to the Financial Services Authority.
Thomas Krogh Jensen, CEO of Copenhagen Fintech, also believes that it makes good sense to have the union as a founding partner:
“They have 50,000 highly qualified employees as members, which allows us to build a bridge between the old and new sector − not only through management but the employees as well.”
In the future, the union’s ambition is to integrate the hub with universities to create education specific to the fintech sector and to attract foreign talent and companies to Copenhagen.
“I believe the foundation for that is already here,” Petersen concludes.
This article is part of the commercial publication 'Copenhagen Fintech'. Click here to view all articles