The UK government has launched what it calls the Fintech Sector Strategy, a programme announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond that includes a new cryptoassets task force, advances in regtech and a UK-Australia start up support programme, among others.
“I am committed to helping the sector grow and flourish, and our ambitious Sector Strategy sets out how we will ensure the UK remains at the cutting edge of the digital revolution,” Hammond said.
The Cryptoassets Task Force will bring together HM Treasury, the Bank of England, and the Financial Conduct Authority, and will examine the risks related to digital currencies and seek to harness the benefits of the underlying blockchain technology for the wider financial sector.
The strategy also seeks to establish a new set of industry standards to enable fintech firms to more easily partner with banks, an extension to the recent PSD2 and Open Banking regulations.
The Government will also appoint three new Fintech Regional Envoys to ensure the benefits from the strategy are felt the length and breadth of the country.
The secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, Matt Hancock, is expected announce that Tech City UK is building a comprehensive Fintech Programme across the country to support new companies in the sector across the UK. The firm is also partnering with Barclays’ Connect with Work programme and the British Standards Institute and five major banks to help banks and start-ups achieve partnerships faster.
Tech City is also rolling out a six-month long accelerator programme specifically for early-stage fintech B2B companies.
Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison will co-sign a new Fintech Bridge agreement designed to support start-ups as they enter each territory and harmonise policies across a range of issues relevant to fintech.
“Today’s UK-Australia Fintech Bridge agreement is our most ambitious to date,” added Hammond. “It will bring together our regulators, policy makers, and private sectors to build an improved fintech ecosystem to support the growth of our fintech markets. This is underpinned by the most advanced regulatory partnership that the FCA has signed, connecting the UK to a market of 24 million people and ensuring stronger commercial ties with Australia’s rapidly growing fintech sector.”