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Innovate Finance CEO Message – What to Expect in 2019

 

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By Charlotte Crosswell, CEO, Innovate Finance

Having spent over a year at Innovate Finance, I have worked with so many of you to promote and support the FinTech sector as it continues to grow, mature and strive to create a better financial future for people and businesses across the UK and globally.

FinTech certainly had a landmark year in 2018. From record-breaking capital and investment numbers to political and economic developments, we have seen how the sector must enjoy both the rewards of innovation but also the unpredictability of global and domestic change.  

For me, 2019 will be the year FinTech is recognised as one of the key drivers of financial inclusion and financial wellness and will bring even more of the population into accessible financial services. Whether it be through the Affordable Credit Challenge, innovative investment and savings platforms, Open Banking, the Rent Recognition Challenge, FinTech will prove to make the difference.  

As we move into 2019, it is increasingly important to look for collaboration and solidarity across industry, to take on the challenges we are likely to face in the coming year. It is crucial that the voice of the entire Fintech community – from our vital startups to our steadfast financial institutions – is heard and amplified. At Innovate Finance, our members are at the heart of everything we do. We help you to achieve your ambitions and work with you to ease your concerns, add value to your business and connect you with the wider community.

So, I’d like to share with you  our main aims for 2019…

  • Help our members connect, scale and innovate. Our members represent the entire Fintech ecosystem from the largest bank to the Fintech company starting on their journey and we will continue to bring that ecosystem together.
  • Work with government, regulators and other key stakeholders to help create the best possible ecosystem in the UK . Lobbying for regulatory change and government support for the sector amongst such political turmoil is central to our work.
  • And Showing the difference that FinTech can make as a force for good as it plays an increasingly critical role to the future of society. Fintech has already proven that it provides a better customer experience and choice whether that’s to the consumer or a small business starting up. We believe the sector can provide inclusion and, transparency and competition that is so needed in today’s society.

In 2019, our membership will provide more options to reach FinTech companies across the country to ensure everyone can be involved at the right level. It will feature new engagement points and exciting ways to make the most of being a member.

Having listened to our members over the course of the last year, we are looking forward to providing more opportunities for you to connect and be involved in core Innovate Finance programmes, initiatives and policy work.

Supporting talent and skills in Fintech is a key priority for 2019. We recognise this is the biggest issue for our FinTech community. We are in active discussions to promote all job vacancies for our members across the UK, reaching into universities and promoting FinTech opportunities to more talented young people.

I am particularly excited by our FinTech for Schools programme, working with educational institutions in key parts of the UK to develop the talent pipeline in FinTech and help inspire the next generation of leaders. As well as working with key partners to support programmes in STEM skills – alongside our work on the Financial Skills taskforce and Lord Mayor’s Digital Skills Programme.

We are looking forward to launching our Capital and Investment Programme in 2019, which will provide our members access to investors, insights, events and tools. We are actively growing our investor community and will soon profile those looking to invest in the sector and highlight all our members who are looking to raise capital.  Our annual VC Investment Landscape will be published in February this year, benchmarking FinTech in the UK and globally and highlighting investment trends. One to look out for!

Our Diversity Programme, led by the Women in Fintech initiative, is also a key 2019 priority. Diversity is no longer an act of simple awareness building. The dialogue has shifted and is now geared towards action and we want to ensure the change actually happens. We will be hosting tailored workshops and sessions dedicated to providing support for women at every level and stage in Fintech. And we will be releasing our revamped Women in Fintech Powerlist in February, so make sure to keep your eyes peeled for that! Our fantastic judging panel are going to have a tough job!

2019 will also see Innovate Finance continue to work through our strong links with regulators and government to help ensure the voice of the Fintech sector is heard across key policy areas. These include promoting innovation, getting the right environment for FinTechs to start and grow, helping our members navigate Brexit, and – looking ahead – how the UK can sustain its global FinTech leadership.

Alongside this, our FinTech Strategy Group continues to play a key role guiding our work bringing together FinTech leaders, Financial service innovators and regulators. The work being done in this group and by its Member led taskforces will be crucial as industry looks to find its own solutions to drive forward the sector.

Of course, our annual Global Summit, IFGS, this year in April, will be a highlight for the global Fintech community, bringing over 2000 leaders across industry together in London. Innovate Finance is also proud to be supporting UK FinTech Week 2019, with our Summit as the flagship event, alongside HM Treasury, London and Partners, the Department for International Trade, London Stock Exchange and the City of London Corporation. The week will be a hive of activity up and down the country, with events taking place in major UK cities.

I wish you all a prosperous 2019, and hope to work with even more of you in the coming months to ensure FinTech businesses get the support they need and the sector continues to be recognised as a vital part of our economy and society.

If you are interested in learning more about Innovate Finance membership, please get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you and connect you with our community.