Britain sets out blueprint to keep fintech 'crown' after Brexit | Inquirer Business
Close  

Britain sets out blueprint to keep fintech ‘crown’ after Brexit

/ 05:32 PM February 26, 2021
Britain sets out blueprint to keep fintech 'crown' after Brexit

FILE PHOTO: Flags of the Union Jack and European Union are seen in Brussels, Belgium December 9, 2020. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

LONDON — Brexit, Covid-19, and overseas competition are challenging fintech’s future in Britain and the country should act to stay competitive, a government-backed review said on Friday.

Britain’s departure from the European Union has cut the fintech industry’s access to the world’s biggest single market, making the UK less attractive for fintechs wanting to expand cross-border.

ADVERTISEMENT

The review headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, sets out a “strategy and delivery model” that includes a new billion-pound start-up fund and fast-tracking work visas for hiring the best talent globally.

“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.

FEATURED STORIES

Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.

“This review will make an important contribution to our plan to retain the UK’s fintech crown,” finance minister Rishi Sunak said, adding the government will respond in due course.

The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.

“What the UK fintech industry really needs is both access to talent and easy access to global markets,” said Mike Laven, CEO of fintech Currencycloud. “Unfortunately, the fallout of Brexit and the pandemic have recently made this more difficult.”

The review said Britain increasingly needs to represent itself as a strong fintech scale-up destination as well as one for start-ups.

It recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.

“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.

ADVERTISEMENT

A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.

The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.

Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.

“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” Swinburne said.

($1 = 0.7064 pounds)

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Brexit, Britain, Business, EU, Europe, European Union, FinTech, United Kingdom, Worldpay
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2021 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.