Project

Emerging Geographies of Financial Technology in Europe: Mapping Organizational, Institutional, and Strategic Financial Center Change in the Benelux

Goal: Witnessing the rapid digitization of finance, this project investigates financial center change through a comparative case study of Amsterdam, Brussels, and Luxembourg. A main question this project seeks to answer is how the traditional intermediating role of financial centers is changing in light of the increased use of technology. Is there still a need for financial centers in the age of rampant digitization? And if so, which organizations will be the key intermediaries: big banks, or rather tech giants such as the American Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, or the Chinese Alibaba? Although constituting pressing issues in terms of economy, society and even geopolitics, FinTech-induced transformations in financial centers remain poorly understood. Further, while a geographical research agenda on FinTech is emerging, the focus has thus far been mostly on start-ups, less on the financial endeavors of 'BigTech'. This project seeks to fill these gaps by focusing on the Benelux where established financial institutions and large tech firms are beginning to collaborate. It focuses on how organizations change, how local and regional institutions shift, and how these transformations relate to wider regulatory and strategic changes enacted at national and European scales.

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Reijer Hendrikse
added a research item
"[T]his contribution first expands on our notion ‘the Big Tech bang’, through which we analyze the historical rise of Big Tech and its role in shaping an emerging socio-technical system. Second, we move to the present and expand on the features of what we call ‘the Big Tech model’, which is based on generating network effects to facilitate rent extraction, and through which we understand the mounting power of Big Tech [...] Third, ceteris paribus, we anticipate the future by elaborating on what we call ‘the Big Techification of everything’, a scenario whereby Big Tech not only comes to rewire economy and society, but also enmeshes itself evermore closely with the state, effectively becoming the sun in the new socio-technical solar system"
Reijer Hendrikse
added a project goal
Witnessing the rapid digitization of finance, this project investigates financial center change through a comparative case study of Amsterdam, Brussels, and Luxembourg. A main question this project seeks to answer is how the traditional intermediating role of financial centers is changing in light of the increased use of technology. Is there still a need for financial centers in the age of rampant digitization? And if so, which organizations will be the key intermediaries: big banks, or rather tech giants such as the American Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook, or the Chinese Alibaba? Although constituting pressing issues in terms of economy, society and even geopolitics, FinTech-induced transformations in financial centers remain poorly understood. Further, while a geographical research agenda on FinTech is emerging, the focus has thus far been mostly on start-ups, less on the financial endeavors of 'BigTech'. This project seeks to fill these gaps by focusing on the Benelux where established financial institutions and large tech firms are beginning to collaborate. It focuses on how organizations change, how local and regional institutions shift, and how these transformations relate to wider regulatory and strategic changes enacted at national and European scales.