Boosting FinTech Innovation Across the UK

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Proposal to grow fintech innovation opportunities and deliver positive economic outcomes throughout the UK

FinTech Scotland and FinTech Wales have released a report proposing increased Research and Innovation (R&I) to drive acceleration in fintech development across the UK, nationally and regionally to support growth and new jobs.

The report, entitled “Research and Innovation for UK FinTech” jointly authored by Gavin Powell and Johnny Mayo of FinTech Wales along with Nicola Anderson and Stephen Ingledew of FinTech Scotland sets out a number of key actions to build a longer-term Research & Innovation across the UK, including:

  • Challenge led innovation programmes identified through collaborative national and regional exercises to develop ground-breaking propositions through a funded research pilot programme
  • Mapping the longer term needs for FinTech R&I in partnership with established researchers to develop support through a long-term funding portfolio.
  • The development of a FinTech Innovation Institute by collaboration of UK fintech regions to lead the steering and operation of a long-term funded portfolio.
  • Regional fintech contributions that leverage the local strengths and connected networks to help drive economic growth and build greater resilience across the UK.

The proposed actions have been supported by contributions from experts across industry, regulators, research experts and academic organisations across the UK.

Sarah Williams-Gardener FinTech Wales CEO said:

“This paper recommends a clear plan to secure a more prosperous future for FinTech through innovation and we need to act now to ensure that we can continue to grow in FinTech and not fall behind our international competitors.

“We must create an environment where opportunities to innovate – and break through the crowd – can be achieved. The importance to build back better post Covid19 is even more pressing. If we don’t commit to providing the right conditions now for our FinTech innovators, we will almost certainly lose out to our international competitors.”

FinTech Scotland CEO Nicola Anderson said:

““We know from experience that fintech across the UK offers real potential for economic growth, future employment and greater financial inclusion. This work has shown that we could truly advance and accelerate this potential through a strategic approach to R&I.”

“This paper proposes a suite of purposeful and collaborative actions that can achieve success through commitment and regional contributions. The paper is just the start and we’re looking forward to continuing this work with fellow fintech leadership colleagues and teams across the UK.”

Ian Campbell, then CEO of Innovate UK said:

“This paper demonstrates the imperative to act and to ensure the UK, as a whole, embraces Fintech innovation across the financial services sector and the broader economy; leveraging regional skills and expertise to execute a unified strategy and unleash the full potential of all nations and regions within the UK.”

Ron Kalifa OBE, and former CEO of Worldpay, who is leading the Governments fintech review said:

“We are delighted to see FinTech Scotland and FinTech Wales combining forces to propose a UK wide joined up approach to Fintech innovation. We all have a common goal to make UK Fintech resilient and prosperous on the global stage.”

Gerard Grech, founding chief executive of Tech Nation said:

“Fintech is a competitive strength for the UK and it's terrific to see the regions looking to explore how a focus on innovation, and nationwide collaboration, can further increase UK fintech's potential. This is exactly the kind of theme that the national connectivity stream I'm leading as part of the independent FinTech Strategic Review commissioned by the Treasury is seeking to build upon.”

In the summer of 2020, the complementary FinTech Strategic Review was launched and is expected to report its findings and recommendations to HM Treasury in Q1 of 2021.

Deputy Minister for the Economy & Transport at Welsh Government, Lee Waters said:

“The FinTech sector is absolutely crucial to the Welsh economy and we have worked hard to create a truly world class industry here in Wales, which will have an even bigger role to play as we recover from the impacts of coronavirus.

“We have long championed and supported innovation through our SMART suite of programmes and we are committed to helping businesses respond to market demand while continuing to attract internationally-renowned companies to Wales.

“I applaud the proactive work undertaken, and initiative shown by FinTech Wales, FinTech Scotland and Innovate UK. It’s now crucial the UK Government provides the support needed for the sector to continue to flourish now and in the future.”

Gavin Powell, co-author of the report and Director at Connect & Convey, said:

“Undertaking this work has allowed us to create an independent perspective of innovation requirements and strategy. This is a much-needed tool for UK FinTech and action needs to be taken if we are to protect our position against growing competition from across the globe.

“The need is ever more pressing as the world looks to innovate heavily in areas like FinTech to boost economic recover post Covid. This is about creating the right environment in the UK to generate plentiful opportunities and enable prosperity.”

The papers in both their long and summary thought leadership versions can be downloaded from: