The Fintech Strategic Review aims to ensure the ongoing growth and success of UK fintech as a world leader in financial innovation.

By Stuart Davis and Anna Lewis-Martinez

On 20 July 2020, HM Treasury announced the launch of an independent review into the UK’s fintech industry to “identify opportunities to support further growth in the sector”.

The Fintech Strategic Review aims to establish priority areas for industry, policy makers, and regulators to explore in order to support the continuing success of the UK fintech sector. The review will be led by Ron Kalifa OBE, the former CEO of Worldpay and non-executive director of the Court of Directors to the Bank of England. According to Kalifa, “Technology has a vital role to play in the UK’s COVID-19 economic recovery. The fintech review will ensure that we can leverage this innovative technology to help consumers and businesses, through a joined-up strategy that combines investment, skills and policy to deliver it.”

The terms of reference for the review set out three objectives:

  • Ensure UK fintech has the resources to grow and succeed
  • Create the conditions for continued widespread adoption of fintech solutions to benefit businesses and individuals
  • Maintain and advance UK fintech’s global reputation for the innovation and transformation of financial services

The review will run five workstreams, and each workstream will make up to three recommendations, advancing one of the review’s three objectives. The five workstreams are:

  • Skills and talent: building a robust and diverse UK workforce, qualified in areas relevant to emerging financial trends, through developing a domestic-skills base and addressing barriers to attracting foreign talent
  • Investment: diversifying the UK’s investment landscape and addressing the challenges to attracting growth funding
  • National connectivity: supporting the growth of regional fintechs through improving intra-region connectivity and leveraging the strengths of other fintech hubs
  • Policy: enabling and fostering wider adoption of innovation, including supporting cooperation between fintechs and financial institutions, whilst promoting competition
  • International attractiveness and competitiveness: promoting UK solutions to overseas markets and supporting international exports, as well as promoting the UK as a key market to establish and grow a fintech company

The review is expected to report back no later than six months after initiation, i.e., the beginning of 2021, unless otherwise agreed with HM Treasury.