UK fintech review widely praised upon release

The Kalifa Review of UK Fintech’s stated aims are to highlight the opportunity to create highly skilled jobs across the UK, boost trade, and extend the UK’s competitive edge over other leading fintech hubs. It sets out a series of proposals for how the UK can build on its existing strengths, create the right framework for continued innovation, and support UK firms to scale. The Review formally launched in July 2020 with objectives for supporting the growth and widespread adoption of UK fintech, and for maintaining the UK’s global fintech reputation.

Read the full review

Statements received by SFM by email include:

David Nicol, CEO of LedgerEdge, a London-based fintech building a new corporate bond platform with distributed ledger technology: “We are happy to see this call to accelerate investment and create a vibrant ecosystem for UK fintech startups. There’s a global arms race for talent and money in fintech, and we welcome the UK’s response to the challenge of providing a thriving environment for our exciting sector.”

Mark Turner, managing director, Compliance and Regulatory Consulting practice, Duff & Phelps: “The eagerly anticipated Kalifa review, published this morning, doesn’t disappoint. It sets out a number of proposals that could have far reaching consequences for fintech for years to come. With the global fintech sector expected to be worth £380bn by the end of the decade, and the UK currently home to around 10% of the sector, it is a shining beacon of innovation that deserves to be nurtured. As the report says, ‘we see fintech as a core asset for Global Britain’.

“The report sets out a five-point plan, as part of a strategy that would see the private sector taking the lead with government support in the form of a framework of measures and initiatives that should allow the sector to flourish.

“The proposals outlined, are in some aspects, an evolution of a model that is already taking shape, with initiatives like Digital ID already likely to bring about profound changes to customer experience, bringing down costs, and strengthening controls.”

Mark Leaver, Financial Services Technology leader, PwC UK, said “We are seeing technology companies increasingly performing roles that have historically been done by financial institutions themselves. Opening up the legacy platforms of financial institutions, letting in more agile technology-led organizations and enabling incumbents and new entrants to collaborate will help the industry to better serve customer needs and become more efficient.

“At the same time, as industry and consumers navigate an increasingly digitized world accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, while competition from around the world is on the rise, it is hugely encouraging to see the recommendations in the Kalifa Review of UK fintech published today.

“Building on the strong foundations that the UK fintech sector has laid, we look forward to working with the industry to support the proposed Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology in the delivery of the five-point plan.”

Michael Magee, PwC UK Financial Services Deals leader, said: “The proposed £1bn investment vehicle – the fintech Growth Fund in Ron Kalifa’s report – would be transformative in addressing this challenge, with the potential to turbo-charge growth in the sector, assisting fintechs of all shapes and sizes, and as a result unlocking innovation at scale across the financial services industry.

“Creating a fund owned and managed by institutional investors will provide access to more patient capital for fintechs, giving them breathing space to realise their vision without investors seeking a shorter exit and giving those fintechs that make their home in the UK a chance to grow in an inclusive, welcoming environment.”

Steve Davies, partner, Digital Innovation in Banking, PwC UK, said: “Talent, rather than technology, is the most critical enabler for successful digital transformation, and with Fintech driving the wave of digitization through the financial services industry today, the focus on both global talent attraction and digital upskilling in Ron Kalifa’s report are welcome.

“Although not referenced in the report, it is also going to be paramount to increase the diversity of the sector in order to ensure no unintended biases in the technology solutions and products developed, and we are proud to be a signatory of the Fintech for All Charter in support of this imperative.”

Louise Brett, head of Fintech at Deloitte, said: “Today marks the UK Fintech sector’s ‘Big Bang’ moment, setting out a strategy that will accelerate growth over the next three years and be an enabler for post-pandemic recovery, adding that “Fintech is providing opportunities for leveling up, not only regionally but also across society.” The number of UK fintechs has doubled since 2014, to c.2,500, with an annualized growth rate of 16% over the past decade.

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