Fintech “campanilismo” is alive and well.

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According to our friend and IBM fintech thought leader Paolo Sironi, the Italian word campanilismo refers to competition among cities that influences many aspects of an economy and society. With Milan’s recent announcement of a fintech district in the heart of the city, this concept is clearly alive and well in modern-day Italy. Given the ongoing drama and uncertainty surrounding Brexit, though, it’s especially notable to see Milan’s attempt to assert fintech leadership within Europe. However, as we’ve seen across the US and Europe over the last year, it’s easy for a city to hold a launch event and provide some space and resources. The issue is whether a region is prepared to pursue fintech development with the relentless and distinct focus needed to outmatch Silicon Valley, London, Berlin, New York and Singapore. We wish this new district and its backers including Sellalab and Copernico the best of luck.