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UK Fintech Industry Seeks Support on Kalifa Strategy Review

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Fintech industry leaders and regulatory professionals came together recently to hear first-hand from Ron Kalifa, OBE, author of the eponymous and long-awaited Kalifa Review of UK Fintech Strategy. Hosted by global data and analytics provider, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, and chaired by CEO of Fintech Wales, Sarah Williams-Gardner, the event was an opportunity for industry representatives to ask their burning questions on the back of the Review.

The reaction from attendees indicates that the Review, whilst posing many great opportunities for the UK fintech sector, leaves open a number of questions and challenges which the industry is keen to address, and which may require additional support from the UK Government as they embark on the task of implementing the recommendations.

Among the key issues raised by the sector were:

  • The need for clarity around prioritisation and which challenges will be tackled first, over the next 3-5 years
  • Reassurance as to how the Government aims to improve access to capital for start-ups – particularly those outside of London, to enable them to realise their growth potential without risk of funds running dry
  • Further guidance around how the UK Government plans to support the sector in maintaining its position as a leading centre in Europe, particularly post-Brexit
  • More detail around how fintech innovation will affect regulatory processes and the configuration of compliance teams in UK financial services in the next three years

During the event, Ron Kalifa outlined his own top priorities and hopes for the sector, in light of the strategy review:

  • The need for better training and upskilling opportunities in fintech, in particular ensuring that further education colleges offer short course to help workers get to grips with new, essential tech skills
  • A hope that the term ‘fintech’ will become increasingly redundant as collaboration between large financial services organisations and enabling technology companies becomes an integral part of doing business.
  • A greater understanding around the potential for technology to transform any business, and how, relatively simply, businesses can achieve their digitalisation goals

Sarah Williams Gardner, CEO at Fintech Wales comments:

“The Kalifa Review is a promising encapsulation of the progress and potential of UK fintech. The UK has the capability to be a world leading fintech centre, but as Ron highlights, governmental policy needs to reflect this. What is clear from the industry’s response, is that while the review is a far-reaching and valuable resource, it’s a snapshot in time. The fintech industry will clearly be looking to the government for additional support and commitment to help realise the implementation of the review’s recommendations.

“What the Kalifa report reveals, is that by truly collaborating across industries and geographies fintech has all of the ingredients to remain a highly promising sector for Wales and the UK – one in which we can continue to compete on a global scale and reap the benefits for local economies and beyond.’”

Steve Elliot, Managing Director UK & Ireland at LexisNexis® Risk Solutions:

“As a RegTech solutions provider who works closely with the wider fintech community, we were delighted to be able to host this platform through which the industry could hear first-hand from the author of the much-awaited Kalifa Review and provide the opportunity to get answers to the key questions it raises.”

“Technology and data’s enormous potential to transform almost every facet of our economy over the coming years in incredibly exciting – we’re already seeing it in financial services, but life insurance and pensions, wealth management, utilities and the public sector all stand to benefit greatly from technology-enabled, assured digital identity and online trust tools. Data and technology are fast becoming the drivers of the 4th industrial revolution and bring with them the promise of huge investment in jobs, training and skills, as well as helping Britain to become a global leader in this space. The organisations that will succeed in the future are those that can most readily embrace this technology-driven revolution.”