CEO Update – December 2022
2022 has been a momentous year for UK FinTech, and it is heartening to look back on the past 12 months and see the successes and positive impact our sector continues to have on transforming financial services for the better, particularly in the face of challenges like the COVID-19 pandemic, war in Ukraine, political uncertainty, and the cost of living crisis.
2022 has also been an exciting year for Innovate Finance, as we developed and launched a host of new programmes and initiatives to further support our fantastic members and continue driving forward the agenda for UK FinTech.
See here for a recap of some of our most important moments in the past 12 months.
Welcome to New Members
I am delighted to welcome our newest Innovate Finance members Discover, Room Zero, Allica Bank, Oazo apps, Capsule Cover, Velexa, BankCheck by Lacuna Solutions, Overbond, Knoma, Planky, Fin, FXGuard, Fundsquire, Kingston Business School, Rnwl, and Elifinty to our community.
Priority Programme Update
Innovate Finance has had a busy past few weeks and we are already gearing up for a fantastic start to 2023.
On Diversity & Inclusion I am excited to announce that the Women in FinTech Powerlist 2022 applications are now open! Applications close on January 16, so do make sure to apply or nominate the amazing women in your network now! The final list will be announced on 8 March 2023. In the first quarter of 2023 we will also be hosting a Women in FinTech roundtable series with EY, a D&I Power Hour with Visa, and a networking session with Hogan Lovells, and will share dates and further information on these shortly.
As for our Partnerships and Growth programme, we would love to see you at the next session of our successful Partnerships Day series in February as we connect more banks and institutions directly with FinTechs.
The first events in our FinTech Academy for startups and early stage companies took place in November and December, with great engagement from the community, and we look forward to seeing you in the next sessions in 2023. A big thanks to Google for delivering our first Academy workshop.
On Capital and Investment we are set to release our highly-anticipated Innovate Finance 2022 FinTech Investment Landscape Report in January. We will dive deeper into the themes and trends uncovered by this annual report in our ‘Capital Investment in UK FinTech in 2022’ panel discussion on January 24.
Thank you also to all our members and investors who took part in our successful investor - startup speeddating session in October held at CapGemini’s offices. We are excited to host further speeddating events in the new year and will share dates on these shortly.
On the International front, the Innovate Finance team was delighted to see so many of you at our US Holiday Networking Reception last week, hosted by Shearman & Sterling in New York City! This marked a celebration of the Innovate Finance US Programme which we launched in June of this year to support our members based or scaling to the US, to encourage US FinTechs to come to the UK, and to drive even greater investment into the UK FinTech ecosystem. We will continue with even more regular transatlantic engagements in 2023, including regular networking opportunities, scaling and partnership sessions, and a VC / Corporate Venture Capital Working Group.
Our Innovate Finance International FinTech Group (IFG), which we co-chair with the Department for International Trade, has also now held a number of meetings and has progressed a plan of action to support the promotion of UK FinTech globally, ensuring a cohesive UK FinTech brand at global industry events, and identifying areas where we can support our UK FinTechs with scaling into global brands.
Furthermore, our international Scaling Series will return in January with our partner Singapore EDB on the theme of Embedded Finance.
In November we kicked off our new Talent and Skills Programme with our Talent Showcase hosted by Deloitte, featuring incredible speakers discussing how to recruit, retain and develop talent in the current market and how to build a positive, high performing culture. In Q1 2023 we will be hosting our first ever Innovate Finance Jobs Fair - more details to come shortly.
As for our FinTech for Good initiative, our Emissions Report is now available and we are exploring carbon offsetting for IFGS 2023. We are also working with our Net Zero member working group to explore how FinTech can help broader society reach a net zero future.
Last month we welcomed the Chancellor’s ambition to ‘turn the UK into the world’s next Silicon Valley’, and his commitment to foster greater competition and unlock growth through smart regulatory reform. We look forward to seeing further plans on this from the government in the coming months.
Last month I also had the pleasure of meeting with the new EST, Andrew Griffith, where we discussed the continued support of the government for our world-leading UK FinTech sector. The Minister and I spoke openly about investment and growth capital, the Online Safety Bill, the vision for the UK to be the leading global digital finance centre, SME lending, and the power of FinTech to support us all through the cost of living crisis and drive greater financial inclusion and wellness across the UK.
I was also pleased to meet with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Tech and the Digital Economy Paul Scully last week, with whom I had a positive discussion around the Online Safety Bill, the Data Protection and Digital Information Bill, and the importance of smart data and digital identity in furthering financial inclusion in the UK.
I look forward to the continued engagement of both ministers with our Innovate Finance community.
In addition, we were also pleased to see the publication of our proposals on reform of Solvency II to encourage further institutional investment in UK startups and scaleups, and strengthen the UK investment environment. I am confident that our ecosystem will continue to contribute to the economy by providing better, cheaper and easier products to consumers, more important than perhaps ever before with the cost of living crisis and the latest economic forecasts showing challenging times ahead.
In the last few weeks, we have responded to two key consultations, the HMT Consultation and Call for Evidence on the Payments Regulation and the Systemic Perimeter and the PSR Consultation Paper on Requiring Reimbursement for ‘Authorised push payment scams’.
On SME lending our team met with the new CEO of British Business Bank and held discussions with HMT and BBB on policy interventions.
On Open Finance and data we attended the FCA’s Open Finance Policy Sprint to explore how to expand Open Banking to Open Finance, and continue our work with Boston Consulting Group to develop use cases for open finance solutions. I am also pleased to have been appointed as co-chair of Project FAIR: Framework for responsible adoption of artificial intelligence in the financial services industry run by the Alan Turing Institute and the University of Edinburgh.
On RegTech we have recently published a new report with KPMG titled ‘A user’s guide to RegTech: Navigating the challenges and what success looks like’ to build awareness of leading RegTech solutions currently offered in the market and the impact they are having on financial services. We have also worked with the City of London Corporation and Grant Thornton on a RegTech survey to understand challenges, opportunities and barriers in RegTech.
On Consumer policy and the cost of living crisis we are working with EY on a paper focused on how FinTechs are helping customers with the rising cost of living.
We hosted a Consumer Duty breakfast member roundtable with Hogan Lovells discussing the FCA’s Consumer Duty requirements, how to harness data and the timescale for its implementation and we were pleased to see great participation in our webinar “Consumer Duty: An opportunity for FinTechs” with EY.
On financial crime and fraud we have engaged with regulators and government to address issues around Automated Push Payment (APP) Fraud, calling on MPs and Government to crack on with the provisions in the Online Safety Bill and seeking to improve the Payment regulator's proposals for mandatory reimbursements.
We have launched our first Challenger Banks Policy Programme to advocate for a proportionate regulatory environment. Contact our policy team to get involved.
We are delighted to see continuous engagement with our member working groups on BNPL, SME lending, 36H (P2P lenders), Blockchain and crypto, RegTech and Net Zero.
Our parliamentary engagement included working with the Labour shadow City Minister, Tulip Siddiq MP who delivered a keynote speech at FinTech as a Force for Good, the House of Commons Financial Services and Markets (FSM) Bill Committee and took part in a roundtable on BNPL hosted by Klarna in Parliament with MPs and Lords at the Crypto and Digital Assets APPG. We had discussions with the Bank of England, PSR and FCA on green finance and cost of living,and we attended a CoLC-CFTC Commissioner event and organised a session between the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) and BNPL members.
And finally on policy, I am incredibly proud of the amazing Innovate Finance team for winning the Regulation and Compliance Award at the City A.M.’s Crypto Awards 2022, a recognition of our advocacy on government policy and regulation of digital assets!
Team & Office Update
We are delighted to welcome Amelia Martinez as our new Head of Ecosystem. Please say hello to her at one of our upcoming events!
As a thank you to the hard work of our brilliant but small team, please note that the Innovate Finance offices will be closed from Monday the 19th of December to Tuesday the 3rd of January to allow them all to rest and recharge for an amazing 2023.
It was lovely to see so many of you at our Holiday Members’ Reception in London last week. I feel truly privileged to work alongside and help represent so many inspiring innovators transforming financial services for the better. As 2022 draws to a close, I would like to say thank you to all our members and ecosystem for your outstanding support over the past year, and for inspiring myself and the Innovate Finance team every day.
I wish you all happy holidays and a fantastic start to 2023!
CEO, Innovate Finance