In an effort to boost its position as a world fintech hub in a post-Brexit era, the UK’s Department for International Trade has announced it will open a ‘one-stop-shop’ to help British financial technology companies expand into Asian markets, and vice versa.

Launched at the Singapore FinTech Festival, the UK economic secretary Simon Kirby said the new initiative will be a “dedicated service that will support fintech exports and inward investment flows to the UK”.

Kirby attended the festival last week as part of a UK fintech trade mission to Singapore, where he was accompanied by nine British companies, including Azio, Crowd2Fund, Misys, Novaston Media, Opportunity Network, RateSetter, Suade and Wealth Objects.

The one-stop-shop is to open in early 2017. It will provide enhanced support to UK fintech companies looking to scale up internationally, as well as giving overseas fintech firms help to set up in the UK. Services include administrative support, tax advice, bespoke market research, and will also offer help matching international investors with fintech companies looking for financing.

The helping hand is being welcomed in the UK fintech space. Speaking to GTR, Francisco Lorca, managing director for the leading accelerator programme Startupbootcamp FinTech in London, says that UK fintech firms often find themselves in a difficult position when wanting to set up operations overseas, especially in terms of understanding the local markets and dealing with regulative and administrative issues.

Originally from Spain, Lorca set up his own fintech company EthosData 10 years ago in both the UK and India. “Another company helped me set up my business in India, and I would not have my business there if it wasn’t for them,” he says. “They gave me business support, understanding of how to employ people there, how to negotiate with clients: that was key.” Today, more than a third of his business is based in India.

“The main challenge is understanding the customer, how they make their decisions, how they differ in different markets,” Lorca continues. “The other challenge is how to navigate regulations in different markets. If you go to new markets and you have to deal with a different set of regulations, that becomes pretty complicated.”

Thus, he says, the new government initiative could provide the crucial support that some fintech companies need for a soft landing in new markets.

When asked about access to financing, Lorca says that for many fintech firms in the UK, attracting investment is not the main issue when scaling up abroad. “Most of the money is here [in the UK] already,” he says.

The UK’s fintech sector employs 61,000 people and generated over £6.6bn in revenue in 2015, according to a report by consultancy EY, commissioned by the UK Treasury, published earlier this year. It named the UK as the top place for a fintech company to flourish, beating other hotspots such as California, New York and Singapore.

The government’s one-stop initiative forms part of a so-called fintech bridge programme the UK has established with Singapore, Korea and China in an effort to ensure the UK remains the destination of choice for fintech.

Although the fintech industry is booming in the UK, there has been increasing concerns that Brexit would put an end to free movement of talent from Europe and threaten the ‘passporting’ rights that allow UK financial businesses to thrive abroad. These concerns make it even more vital – and urgent – for the UK to bolster its fintech links.

Lorca is convinced that the UK will continue to be one of the fintech capitals of the world, even post-Brexit. But, he says, it will take much effort from the government.

“The UK has an incredible amount of talent that you do not find anywhere else. The message has to be a very clear that this kind of talent is still very welcome in London, and it’s actually needed,” he ends.