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Innovate Finance calls out Government inaction over Kalifa fintech reforms

Innovate Finance calls out Government inaction over Kalifa fintech reforms

Innovate Finance has bemoaned the Government's failure to devise a cohesive national strategy for UK fintech, as recommended by the Kalifa Review.

In February, Ron Kalifa published his independent review of UK fintech, commissioned by UK Treasury ministers. The report, which saw contributions from across the fintech ecosystem contained actions for government, regulators and for industry, focused on five key areas: policy and regulation, skills, international, national and investment.

Eight months on and many areas still remain unaddressed, says Adam Jackson, director of policy, Innovate Finance

"We are still waiting for a government regulatory roadmap for crypto, whilst the FCA has taken some regulatory action against individual firms and extended the deadline for initial temporary crypto Anti-Money Laundering authorisations," he says. "Across Government there has been very limited progress on introducing Open Finance - extending open banking to other areas of financial services."

But the main policy and regulation recommendation that has been ducked so far is for a co-ordinated fintech strategy. Kalifa recommended a government task force to join up and develop a single, cohesive strategy.

"UK FinTech firms face a barrage of different officials and organisations," says Jackson. "My colleagues and I mapped the areas of live regulatory work that has significant impact on the competitiveness of UK fintechs and it is an alphabet soup of Government departments and regulators: Treasury, DCMS, BEIS, DIT, DfE, Innovate UK, British Business Bank, Home Office, CMA, ICO, FCA, PRA and multiple teams within these."

Some issues, such as data-led innovation intertwine departments across separate projects on smart data, open finance and digital ID, he notes.

"The sheer breadth and quantity of government and regulator work affecting fintech requires greater coordination to maximise opportunities and support competitiveness," says Jackson. "Innovate Finance will continue to make the case for a more cohesive, joined up Government approach."

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