Innovate Finance Reflects on the Chancellor’s FinTech Sector Strategy Announcement

22nd March 2018 | Blogs, IF News, News

By Charlotte Crosswell, CEO, Innovate Finance

We are pleased to support and amplify the message regarding the HM Treasury (HMT) FinTech Sector Strategy, announced this morning by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP, at HMT's second annual International FinTech Conference. We are encouraged by the speech today as it reflects many of the discussions we have held on behalf of our members with HMT and across Whitehall over recent months, focussing on:

  • The importance of access to patient capital;
  • The ongoing need for a proactive and technology enabled regulatory framework;
  • An acknowledgement of the importance of securing global talent and developing local skills; and
  • The need to continually develop, evolve and support the sector.

We therefore welcome this vocal endorsement of the FinTech sector today.  We look forward to representing the sector and our members through our working groups and our newly formed FinTech Strategy Group (FSG) launched earlier this week. The FSG will strive to examine and recommend industry solutions for the future of FinTech, and continue to engage with stakeholders in the community from startups and institutions to government and regulators.

Key announcements today included:

  • Appointing three new FinTech Regional Envoys to ensure the benefits of FinTech are felt across the UK. These will work alongside and complement existing partnerships being developed regionally.  Innovate Finance will also continue to build on conversations with regional stakeholders already taking place across the North of England and Scotland where we are developing a programme of activities based on deepening engagement later this year.

  • Continue to develop FinTech Bridges internationally, including the FinTech Bridge with Australia, bringing together stakeholders from both nations. As part of the FinTech Bridge, Innovate Finance and FinTech Australia will advise the UK and Australian governments on how best to support the sector by sharing knowledge, understanding respective ecosystems, and easing the friction for FinTechs to operate internationally.

  • Supporting greater access to patient capital for FinTech - the British Business Bank will launch a £500m programme targeting co-investment by leading institutional investors in FinTechs. Later this year, the British Business Bank will also launch a new ‘British Patient Capital’ investment fund– which will co-invest with the private sector to unlock £7.5 billion of public and private investment. Much of this reflects the joint submission made to HMT by Innovate Finance with the City of London Corporation last Autumn.

  • ‘Robo-regulation’ pilot schemes to help new fintech firms, and the financial services industry more widely, comply with regulations by building software which would automatically ensure FinTechs follow the rules, saving them time and money.  Innovate Finance is also encouraged to see this, given our previous work on technology enabled regulation, through the Transatlantic Policy Working Group (TPWG), which last year published a report on ‘The Future of RegTech for Regulators'.

  • On skills and talent we are pleased to see HMT addressing the need to support accessing international talent and developing local skills through the announcement of aConnect with Work programme. This also reflects Innovate Finance’s recent engagement with the independent Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) and we look forward to working with members ahead of their report this Autumn which is due to address the implications for accessing talent.

  • A Cryptoassets Task Force consisting of HMT, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority. This will help the UK to be at the forefront of harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology, while guarding against potential risks, and at the same time automating regulatory compliance.

We are also pleased to see related announcements regarding: developing FinTech standards, which seek to clarify expectations for partnerships between FinTechs and incumbents; and the development of a shared platform infrastructure which will reduce costs for individual FinTech companies.

I look forward to keeping you updated on these initiatives as they progress.

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