FinTech North supports letter to Chancellor – Add your signature!
Joe Roche / 1st February 2021
In partnership with the other members of the FinTech National Network, FinTech North is putting its support behind a letter to the Chancellor to call for regional FinTech to be supported in the soon to be published UK FinTech Strategic Review. We want to get as many signatories as possible – please add your name here or via the link at the bottom of the letter and share with your network.
The Kalifa Review: Levelling up to ensure that UK FinTech is greater than the sum of its parts
We write to collectively express our support for the development of FinTech across the UK, and to request that the outcomes of the current UK FinTech Review, led by Ron Kalifa, include specific measures to develop FinTech in the regional economies outside London in line with the ‘levelling up’ aspirations.
The review process has engaged with stakeholders across the UK, ranging from FinTech startups to established financial institutions and universities. We have been encouraged that all regions are in agreement and supportive of creating recommendations that will lead to the development of greater regional activity, especially where there is significant potential to create economic growth.
We note the Review seeks to advance three objectives:
- Ensuring UK FinTech has the resources to grow and succeed
- Creating the conditions for continued widespread adoption of FinTech solutions to benefit businesses and individuals
- Maintaining and advancing UK FinTech’s global reputation for the innovation and transformation of financial services
FinTech is a fast-moving sector. We have seen new challengers successfully enter the market, and existing providers embark on digital transformation programmes, helping progress the evolution of digitally-delivered financial products and services. This has been possible thanks to the actions HM Treasury has taken in partnership with the FCA, the Bank of England, and other key stakeholders.
As a consequence, UK FinTech is now recognised as a global leader and as such is well-positioned to deliver huge economic benefits to the UK. We must do all we can to capitalise on this position of strength, ensuring that the UK benefits from the sector’s significant potential to stimulate economic growth and create new jobs, to bring investment to our ecosystem and new opportunities for reskilling employees. All this supports the economic levelling up of our towns and cities across the UK by encouraging value-generating businesses to develop and scale.
For our businesses, FinTech will continue to provide the necessary tools and solutions they require to improve access to an increasingly digital world, improving the efficiency of companies across the financial services, technology and retail sectors, as well as encouraging new opportunities for investment. We believe Fintech is equipping the population to embrace and trust the digital evolution of the economy, and addressing key issues such as financial inclusion and financial literacy.
FinTech also offers opportunities to draw on the talent and expertise of our higher education institutions, particularly for those who are working with industry to develop academic courses, research projects, and business engagement activities related to FinTech as these are providing the private sector with the skills and talents currently in short supply.
A FinTech sector that is better coordinated and joined up across the UK will play an important role in helping the recovery from the impact of Covid, creating economic growth and prosperity. During the Coronavirus Pandemic, we have seen a phenomenal increase in the pace of digitisation that has pushed many in our society to embrace new and innovative ways of living their lives, including how they manage their finances.
During this period, we saw the contactless limit raised helping to minimise risk of transmission, and we saw innovations such as companion cards that allowed the vulnerable to securely give carers access to funds so they could help with shopping etc. alongside increased fraud protection with confirmation of payee. In the UK, during the first month of the initial lockdown, some six million people downloaded their bank’s mobile app for the first time. That is 12% of the adult population. Many of these first time users are not expected to return to ‘physical’ banking in the future, and the way they interact with their banks will have changed permanently, representing a strong opportunity for neo-banks and the FinTechs that provide them with the tools and platforms to operate.
We hope this letter serves to further highlight that the passion for FinTech is not just a London phenomenon, and is, in fact, rooted deep in a wide range of organisations across the UK. We trust that with this support, the evolution of regional FinTech will be front of mind when finalising the report and recommendations from the Review. We recognise that an increased share of voice on national policy impacting the sector, fairer access to public and private sources of funding for FinTech, and an enhanced ability to showcase regional FinTech expertise will be hugely beneficial in supporting the opportunities we have set out above.
We believe this is the moment to build on the global strengths of the UK’s FinTech sector, and aligning with the drive towards ‘levelling up’ can provide an opportunity to support FinTech entrepreneurs across the UK and internationally.