Budget 2017 – Initial Response from Innovate Finance

22nd November 2017 | IF News, News

Innovate Finance welcomes the Chancellor’s commitment to support the digital economy in today’s budget in addition to measures supporting the funding ecosystem.

Innovate Finance responded to the Patient Capital Review and a number of measures we called for, including a commitment to replace European Investment Fund (EIF) and scaling up of the British Business Bank have today been announced.

We are also encouraged to see measures in the Budget to support the digital and STEM skills agenda, which is needed to ensure the sector has the talent needed to thrive in the future. 

Headline Views

Patient Capital

Innovate Finance welcomes plans to unlock over £20 billion of patient capital investment to finance growth in innovative firms including FinTech.

A new £2.5 billion Investment Fund through the British Business Bank and a commitment to replace any potential European Investment Fund (EIF) shortfall in the future is welcome and something our members have been calling for. Examples of EIF funding shortfalls are growing and it is clear we need a UK risk capital framework to step into the breach.

Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS)

Innovate Finance welcomes plans to double the annual investment limit for people investing in knowledge-intensive companies through the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS).

Further clarification on qualifying trades to support investment in the sector is still needed but this is a welcome first step and will be a further boost for retail tech investors.

Open Banking

Innovate Finance welcomes the extension of Open Banking measures to include more payment products, including credit cards. The UK is at the forefront of the Open Banking revolution and this extension will further support competition in retail financial services.

FinTech for First Time Buyers

Innovate Finance is encouraged to see a £2 million competition in the Budget to support FinTech firms developing innovative solutions that help first‑time buyers.

Using technology to support wider public policy goals such as housing should be welcomed and will benefit both our members and first time buyers in their quest for home ownership.

Regulators Pioneer Fund

Innovate Finance welcomes the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund in the Budget. The fund is designed to help regulators to develop innovative approaches aimed at getting new products and services to market. We have see huge progress in the UK from the Sandbox approach, to FCA Techsprints, and hopefully this will help cement the UK leading position in RegTech.

Talent and Skills

Innovate Finance welcomes the raft of measures announced today to support digital skills including National Retraining Partnership and funding for computer science teachers as well as addressing gender disparity in STEM related subjects.

We also support the change to immigration rules to enable world-leading scientists and researchers endorsed under the Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) route to apply for settlement after three years.

Innovate Finance is currently undertaking research on the future talent needs of the FinTech sector. Measures designed to attract the best and the brightest global talent are critical to the future growth of the sector and this is a helpful step in the right direction.

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