European banks are placing strategic bets in areas ranging from wealth management, lending, payments, regulatory technology, software, and blockchain, according to CB Insights.

The research company analysed the private market fintech investment activity of the top European banks (including the investments made by the banks’ venture arms), by assets under management, from 2012-2017 year-to-date.

In Q1 2017, European VC-backed fintech companies received 73 investments worth $667 million. According to CB Insights, at the current pace, total funding dollars to fintech companies based in Europe are on pace to surpass $2.6 billion and deals could surpass those of 2016 by 57%.

Spain-based Santander has been the most active among its European peers investing in fintech over the last five quarters, CB Insights‘ research has found. The bank makes its investments through its venture arm Santander InnoVentures.

France-based BPCE and Credit Mutuel, and UK-based Lloyds did not make any equity investments to fintech start-ups during this period, says the research firm, and hence are not included in the graphic below.

However, as one of our readers has pointed out, BPCE’s subsidiary Natixis invested in blockchain consortium R3 ($2.5 million) and Symphony, a financial industry messaging service provider.

Source: CB Insights

Click on the image to enlarge. Source: CB Insights


  • Santander, UBS and Deutsche Bank have demonstrated the most investment activity.
  • The most active investor – Santander – made 13 investments into 12 unique fintech startu-ps. The largest funding round it participated in was the $135 million Series E funding round of SME lender Kabbage in Q3 2015 (the bank also works with Kabbage across a number of European countries).
  • Santander’s interest spans wealth management, lending, payments, regtech and blockchain.
  • The company with the most co-investments from among this group of banks is blockchain consortium R3. It has recently raised $107 million.
  • Blockchain technology is the category with the most consistent investor presence. Nearly every European bank on the list above has invested in a blockchain company.
  • Michal 22 June, 2017 at 1133

    but where are mBank and PKO, the most innovative banks in Europe?

    • Tanya Andreasyan 22 June, 2017 at 1138

      The article/chart is about large multinational banks and their investments in various fintech companies. Whilst mBank and PKO are innovative and active in this space, they are not top European banks by size and their investments are incomparable in size to the top-tier players.

  • Fred 22 June, 2017 at 2319

    Your article isn’t well informed: BPCE did indeed invest in Fintech during the quarter. Its subsidiary Natixis was one of the main investors in R3. See R3’s press release.

  • Fred 22 June, 2017 at 2320

    By the way Natixis also invested in Symphony’s third round.

  • Yann 27 June, 2017 at 1103

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