Emerging technologies like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and 5G telecommunications are of critical importance to the financial services industry, underpinning new products and services and transforming operational processes. These innovations are also sources of increasing geopolitical rivalry, as economic giants like the United States, China and the European Union vie for leadership in research, commercialization and deployment. Galvanized by concern for national security and economic competitiveness, the ongoing contest between states for technological leadership is not without its costs. Efforts to impose sovereign controls over the internet are dividing cyberspace along national borders, while new economic barriers threaten to restrict trade, limit information exchange and stifle the free flow of capital. As conduits for global commerce, financial institutions are acutely vulnerable to the disruption underway. Thus, robust geopolitical analysis of the 21st century tech race should be a key feature of enterprise risk management and strategic decision-making in the financial sector.