“FinTech will transform the way we live and do business,” said the Chancellor of the Exchequer as he addressed the inaugural International FinTech Conference in London.
Philip Hammond MP began by reminding his audience of how Britain had led the way in previous industrial innovations, and made reference to the steam engine, oil refining, modern power stations and telegraph communications.
Moving on, he explained how in the 21st century Britain is leading the way in the development of FinTech. Mr Hammond said:
“Today we are on the brink of yet another industrial revolution. One that has the potential, once again, fundamentally to transform the structure of the global economy, and the way we live our lives. And once again it is British invention and entrepreneurial spirit that is at the forefront of the technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robotics, big data analytics, biotech and FinTech, that collectively are the drivers of what has become known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
Examples of FinTech innovations mentioned by the Chancellor included:
• Cashless transactions
• Biometric banking
• Transmitting money to family who live abroad
• Apps that automatically identify the best savings rate
• Automated compliance systems for firms (RegTech)
• Access to new sources of credit and funding for firms, such as peer-to-peer lending and other forms of crowdfunding
Mr Hammond made reference to new FinTech innovations from Barclays and HSBC, and then went on to emphasise why Britain was so well placed to take advantage of the FinTech revolution, by saying:
“We have the time zone, the language, the legal system, and the talent… in the world’s number one financial centre … and the fastest growing tech centre in Europe.”
The Chancellor told the conference that Britain’s FinTech sector generated almost £7 billion in revenue in 2016, and employs more than 60,000 people. He remarked that accountancy giants EY and Deloitte had both said that the UK was “the best place in the world to succeed as a FinTech firm.”
Mr Hammond went on to speak about FinTech and financial regulation, and made mention of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulatory sandbox’, where firms can apply for permission to test new ideas without having to follow the regulator’s rules to the letter. He also mentioned the Bank of England’s FinTech Accelerator, where firms can develop innovative central banking solutions; and made reference to an FCA summit where the regulator is looking at how it can do more to support the growth of FinTech.
Mr Hammond concluded by saying to the firms attending the event:
“Help us keep the UK at the forefront of the FinTech revolution. Help us build a truly world-beating new tech sector. Let your ideas, your apps, your services, your equity demonstrate what’s really possible when government, business and regulators all pull in the same direction.”
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