Fintech is more than just a buzzword, it is a revolution that will have profound implication for the financial services industry, according to Bank of England executive Andrew Hauser.
Technology may have always helped to drive change in the financial sector, from the telegraph to the ATM, but with fintech "this time is different" says Hauser in a speech to startup firms.
This is because firms have come under unprecedented pressure to slash costs since the financial crisis, while technology has made it far easier for new entrants to make a splash, consumers are demanding digital services, and authorities are pushing for competition.
"These are strong and persistent forces. The resulting technological change and innovation, though uncertain in timing, will have profound implications for the nature and range of financial services available to households and firms," Hauser told his audience.
With this in mind, last year, the BofE set up an accelerator to work on proof of concepts with startups in areas such as DLT, regtech and cyber security.
So far nine PoCs with 10 firms have been carried out, with Hauser revealing details of another four: with DLT outfit Chain on privacy on a shared ledger; NTT Data and Reportix on storing and organising the bank's regulatory and analytical data; with Mindbridge Analytics on detecting anomalies in anonymised regulatory data sets; and Digital Reasoning on using weakly-structured textual data from public sources to gain insight on firms.
Hauser says the accelerator has enabled the BofE to make "valuable connections with important parts of the financial and technology sector beyond the regulatory perimeter" and also "exposed central bankers to some very different ways of working and thinking: more agile, more willing to experiment, less bound by convention".