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British FinTech - a bright future

3 November 2016

In a recent government announcement the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Simon Kirby, confirmed that London is to hold a new international FinTech conference in April next year.

The conference is set to become an annual event and will bring together hundreds of British FinTech businesses (looking to scale up) and international investors. It is hoped that the conference will boost capital investment into the FinTech sector and consolidate London's position as the world's leading FinTech capital.

In a speech at the FinTech Expo & Conference, the Economic Secretary set out the government’s future plans “to help the FinTech sector keep innovating, keep growing and keep making the financial lives of British people better”.

The government’s recent initiatives include:

  • the Bank of England setting up a FinTech Acceleratorto partner with FinTech firms to explore innovative solutions to the challenges the Bank faces
  • 'FinTech Bridges' where the government works strategically together with other countries to create links between UK firms and investors (current links include Singapore and South Korea)
  • the Bank Referral Programme, where businesses are referred to alternative finance providers if banks refuse them for a loan
  • the introduction of open banking in 2018, which will enable personal customers and small businesses to share their data securely with other banks and third parties, enabling them to manage their accounts with multiple providers through a single digital app.

The Economic Secretary also identified FinTech investment as one of the UK’s weaknesses in comparison to Silicon Valley. In response, the government has pledged a continued effort to encourage more investment into FinTech and to “keep on banging the drum for British investment and showing the world what we have to offer in the UK”.

The government also stated its intention to strike “the right Brexit deal for the FinTech sector” which “enables companies to trade effectively in goods and services across Europe” in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

This announcement comes as a boost to the FinTech industry and is a welcome silver lining amidst the uncertainty in the UK economy following the Brexit vote and related currency instability.

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