17 September 2014

Fintech players back UK's Startup Manifesto

04 September 2014  |  4063 views  |  0 London - Big Ben

Heavy hitters from the fintech community have backed a 'Startup Manifesto' offering recommendations to the next UK government on everything from tax to visas to bitcoin.

The document, put together by the Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec) and backed by over 175 startup founders and investors, is designed to influence British political parties as they begin to put together their own manifestos ahead of next May's general election.

It offers up 24 ways in which the next government can make the country a "world leader in digital innovation".

Fintech players, including TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai, MarketInvoice chief Anil Stocker and GoCardless's Hiroki Takeuchi, have put their names to the manifesto and their influence can be seen in one of the 24 recommendations: "Continue to support fintech innovation."

The document welcomes the efforts of the UK Treasury and Financial Conduct Authority, noting Chancellor George Osborne's warm words for the fintech industry at the recent launch of Innovate Finance.

The next government should look to tackle barriers to innovation, says the manifesto, particularly by ensuring that HMRC becomes "one of the first tax authorities to establish a framework relating to tax, VAT and other compliance requirements related to cryptocurrency".

In addition, the government should look at anti-money laundering and know your customer rules and how they affect digital businesses, particularly as we move to a world of digital proofs and secure online identity assurance.

More generally, the manifesto calls on the return of tax relief for corporate venture capital, changes to the visa system to boost access to talent, investment in digital infrastructure, and a commitment to open data.

Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech City UK, says: "By shinning a spotlight on the key priorities for digital businesses, we can work together to support the needs of Britain's entrepreneurs and the continued growth of the UK's technology sector."

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