On the 11th March the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on FinTech and Financial Markets & Services chaired a joint event presenting key recommendations from the recently launched Kalifa review. The recommendations in the Review cover the issues of policy and regulation, skills, investment, international opportunities and national connectivity.

The meeting was co-chaired by Adam Afriyie MP, chair of the APPG on FinTech and Gareth Davies MP, vice chair of the APPG on Financial Markets and Services; it included contributions from Ron Kalifa, chair of the Kalifa Review, and Charlotte Crosswell, CEO of Innovate Finance, co-secretariat to the review alongside the City of London Corporation.

The meeting outlined the UK FinTech sector current position and the “size of the prize” in terms of job creation, trade and investment, financial inclusion and economic recovery that the industry could deliver with the right strategic support.

The fact that the UK is currently a global leader in FinTech and no longer a niche within financial services was emphasised, together with the way that FinTech has become a permanent technological revolution that is changing the way finance is undertaken across the globe. The Review was conducted to ensure that the necessary steps are taken so that the UK retains its dominant position and continues to evolve and innovate to draw talent and resources into the sector. The Review was set out as a strategy, not simply a list of recommendations, looking to scale up, to level up, and ensure finance and tech form part of the industrial strategy for the UK.

 The discussion covered the future of the UK’s region fintech clusters  – a key theme in the Review – and how they will function. Clarification was given that the clusters will work in collaboration with each other and that there will need to be domain expertise, educational establishments, and accelerators in each region to ensure success. 

 The discussion moved on to how incumbent banks can work more effectively with smaller fintechs, with an emphasis on the importance of greater collaboration and partnerships between players to improve procurement processes. The meeting highlighted that fintech has a significant role to play within government itself; the digitisation of self-assessment tax forms was identified as a particular success story. Discussions were also held on the importance of fintech companies listing in the UK and how those that do are more likely to stay and create employment in the future. The significance of further discussions concerning open banking and digital ID was also stressed.

 The main theme and greatest takeaway from the event was the notion that to be successful and to ensure the UK sets the digital standard, there must be consistent and dynamic conversations around fintech. Fintech allows people to access finance, banking and investment products in an enhanced manner, and Parliament must be vocal to ensure success and raise the sector’s profile.

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