The UK Government is stepping up its support for the country's burgeoning fintech sector with the creation of a new strategy unit, startup information hub and bridge to global markets.
In a keynote speech at the 2016 Innovate Finance Global Summit the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Harriett Baldwin, said the new measures have been developed in response to recommendation made in an an EY report released earlier this year which ranked the UK as the number one place to flourish as a fintech company, above other tech hotspots such as California, New York and Singapore.
Pointing out that the UK fintech sector generated £6.6bn revenue in 2015 and has a workforce of over 60,000 employees - more than in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia combined - Baldwin told the conference that the Government will:
- establish a FinTech panel and delivery support function which will set an overarching fintech strategy for the UK and monitor and drive forward finTech initiatives
- create a professional services information hub for fintechs startups, making it easier for them to source legal and accountancy services, and access practical and cost-effective basic services
- alongside UK Trade and Investment will establish ‘fintech Bridges’ with priority global markets, helping UK startups to expand internationally
HM Treasury has been an ardent advocate of London's fintech scene and has worked closely with the UK's Financiaol Conduct Authority, in breaking down the barriers to startup activity in the sector.
Baldwin was followed on to the podium by the FCA's director of strategy and competition, Christopher Woolard, who unveiled plans to take the wraps off the wathdog's regulatory sandbox initiative on 9 May.
Applications are now open for startups wishing to join the sandbox, which aims to provide a 'safe space' in which businesses can test innovative products without immediately incurring all the normal regulatory consequences of pilot activities.