An independent review of the fintech sector commissioned by HM Treasury has highlighted the important role that fintech can play in driving economic recovery.
FinTech Scotland, along with fintech bodies across the UK, contributed to the Fintech Strategic Review (FSR) recommendations which set out a five-point plan to leverage innovation through a positive regulatory environment, developing diverse skills, facilitating investment to scale enterprises and accelerating a targeted approach to inward investment.
The analysis of fintech innovation across Britain recognised the work done by the FinTech Scotland cluster, which included growing expertise in open finance, payments, regulatory innovation (RegTech) and “Fintech for Good”.
Included in the five-point plan were recommendations to drive future growth for the UK, including:
- Policy and Regulation – Deliver a digital finance package that creates a new regulatory framework for emerging technology.
- Skills – Retrain and upskill adults in support of UK fintech by ensuring access to short courses from high-quality education providers at low cost.
- Investment – Expand R&D tax credits, Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trusts.
- International – Deliver an international action plan for fintech.
- National connectivity – Drive national coordination strategy through Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology.
Commenting on the review, Stephen Ingledew, Executive Chair of Fintech Scotland and a member of the FSR working group said that fintech has the potential to “revolutionise how we live” such as paying for our shopping, managing our money or setting up a business.
“Crucially, it can play a pivotal role in stopping the exacerbation of economic and social inequalities. Fintech innovation is fast-growing right across the UK and offers great potential for Scotland through investment, innovation and jobs,” he said.
“We have been fully involved in the Review to share our learnings from the last three years, in which we’ve managed to build an inclusive and vibrant cluster, a model which The Review recognises can help foster innovation and collaboration in boosting recovery of the UK economy.
“We believe the Review recommendations will support further progress in developing a growing fintech ecosystem and build on successes of homegrown and international fintech firms already rooted in Scotland”.
Linda Hanna, interim Chief Executive of Scottish Enterprise said: “This independent review supports Scotland’s growing worldwide reputation as a leading fintech location.
“Scottish Enterprise has been proud to partner with FinTech Scotland in developing a vibrant environment that continues to attract international fintech firms from around the world, providing economic opportunities for our communities and high-quality jobs for our skilled workforce.”
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Deloitte co-led the FSR National Connectivity Chapter with Tech Nation, undertaking a comprehensive data-driven analysis of the sector across the UK.
Kent Mackenzie, Head of Fintech in Scotland, said “the detail and data contained in this review will underpin and support what we’ve understood for a long time – that fintech across the UK is alive and kicking, and primed for next stage of scaling.”
James Varga, founder of Direct ID and Loral Quinn, founder of Sustainably also contributed to the FSR and welcomed the recommendations on behalf of the fintech community.
Varga commented: “We have known for some time that Fintech has been one of the fastest-growing parts of the economy driving innovation across the country and the findings of this report illustrate why the future of fintech is very bright indeed and, with the right drivers, can continue as one of the UK’s biggest success stories.”
Quinn said that the FSR is a “boost for fintech entrepreneurs across the country” and that the five recommendations will “enable innovative small and medium enterprises to accelerate growth nationally and globally”.