UK government fires up fintech with sector strategy salvo
The UK government has unveiled a new cryptoassets task force, revealed its next steps in “robo-regulation” and built a UK-Australia “fintech bridge”.
This trio of plans were announced today (22 March) in London at the government’s second International Fintech Conference – all part of its first “Fintech Sector Strategy”.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, says: “From the square mile in London to Scotland’s Silicon Glen, the UK leads the world in harnessing the power of fintech as we create an economy fit for the future.”
He adds that the task force will help the UK to “manage the risks around cryptoassets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology”.
This force consists of HM Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
In terms of robo-regulation, there will be pilot schemes to help new firms, and the financial services industry “more widely, comply with regulations by building software which would automatically ensure they follow the rules, saving them time and money”.
The Fintech Sector Strategy also involves appointing three new regional envoys to “ensure the benefits of fintech are felt across the UK”; and creating a set of industry standards which will enable firms to “more easily partner with existing banks”.
In addition, the government is dreaming big and has unveiled a “Connect with Work” programme developed by its Fintech Delivery Panel to “help fintech firms to take advantage of the UK’s diverse workforce”.
While the UK and Australia may not get on in cricket and rugby, the UK’s Chancellor and Scott Morrison, Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia, will sign a new Fintech Bridge agreement.
According to the UK government, this will help to open up the market for UK firms wanting to expand internationally by selling their products and services in Australia.
As part of this bridge, Innovate Finance and FinTech Australia will introduce a regular business to business summit, advising the UK and Australian governments on how best to support the sector.
As mentioned at last year’s conference, the government tells people again that the UK fintech sector contributes £6.6 billion annually to the economy, and employs over 60,000 people across 1,600 companies. In the first three quarters of this year the sector received a record £2.1 billion investment.