Fintech Pledge launched to boost UK’s Fintech sector

Tech Nation, the growth platform for tech companies and leaders, has today announced the launch of the Fintech Pledge with support from HM Treasury (HMT) and the Fintech Delivery Panel, to accelerate the growth of the UK’s Fintech sector by enabling enhanced collaboration between banks and leading Fintech firms.

In a world-first initiative, Tech Nation said the Fintech Pledge will set globally leading standards for the establishment of efficient and transparent commercial partnerships between banks and Fintech firms.

The key principles

The key principles of the pledge rest upon the banks providing clear guidance to technology firms on the onboarding process through a dedicated landing page, and providing clarity on progress through being onboarded. They will provide a named contact, as well as guidance and feedback, and encourage good practice and improvement.

The pledge will also commit banks to implementing these principles and practices within six month of signing.

From today, banks will have the opportunity to volunteer as signatories to the pledge, with five major banks — Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, NatWest Group and Santander — already volunteered as early signatories through their involvement as members of the Fintech Delivery Panel.

John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury commented: “The UK is already the best place in the world to start and grow a Fintech, and we’re committed to that remaining the case as our economy bounces back. So I welcome the Fintech Pledge from some of our leading banks and look forward to more firms becoming signatories.”

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Collaboration: essential in driving the continued growth of the UK Fintech sector

The Fintech Pledge will look to continue the work of banks to evolve and improve their processes and engagement with the Fintech sector, as increasingly tech start-up companies and banks are looking to collaborate with each other to drive better consumer and client outcomes.

Commercial partnerships with banks are also an important factor in the growth and scaling capabilities of Fintechs, making increased collaboration through the pledge key to creating an environment that enables a globally competitive and world-leading fintech ecosystem.

Tech Nation continued that the launch of the Fintech Pledge continues the important work already undertaken to support the UK Fintech ecosystem, including in open banking and in pioneering regulatory innovations such as the Financial Conduct Authority’s regulatory sandbox.

And, the growth platform added that while the  UK’s Fintech sector is already a global leader, and is a strategically important sub-sector for the UK economy, the Fintech Pledge will help to ensure that the UK remains the best place to start and scale a Fintech company.

Victoria Roberts, director of Fintech Delivery Panel at Tech Nation, commented: “Building partnerships with established institutions is a fantastic route for fintechs to drive positive change in finance, be it underpinning new customer solutions or transforming regulatory reporting. The Fintech Pledge provides a welcome clarity, setting out clear commitments of what fintechs can expect and how best to create productive collaborations.”

Big banks have their say

Mark Ashton Rigby, Group COO, Barclays, said: “Helping technology companies to start up and scale is a key part of our role as a bank. The Fintech Pledge will support transparent and efficient collaboration between Barclays and early-stage Fintech companies, which will ultimately provide solutions, products and services to benefit our customers and clients. We will deliver the Pledge commitments through our Rise and Eagle Labs network, which provides the ideal gateway for Fintech companies to engage with both Barclays and the broader financial ecosystem.”

Emma Bunnell, chief operating officer, HSBC UK, said: “HSBC recognises the valuable contribution that Fintech companies can make to help us build banking of the future to best serve our customers, and we’re committed to building on our efforts to make it simpler, faster and more transparent for them to partner with us. We proactively work with and support early stage companies, using our expertise and international presence to help UK companies grow and navigate new opportunities in the UK and beyond.”

Juan Gomez Reino, chief technology officer, Lloyds Banking Group said: “As the UK’s largest digital bank, we are committed to enhancing and strengthening our customer experience. Partnering and working with Fintechs enables us to accelerate that transformation, delivering innovations that push the boundaries of what is possible. This is why we believe it’s so important to make it as easy as possible for Fintechs to work with us, and why the fintech pledge to increase transparency, efficiency and engagement between banks and Fintechs is so important.”

Kevin Hanley, director of innovation, NatWest Group, said: “Partnering with fintechs and other tech start-ups has always been a fundamental part of our approach to innovation. Supporting enterprise in the UK & ROI is also central to the purpose of NatWest Group. As such we are delighted to be one of the founding signatories of the Fintech Pledge, which reflects our commitment to remove barriers, provide more opportunities and help companies grow. With customers’ increasing appetite for digital services the importance of innovation and collaboration with start-ups has never been more important than it is today.”

Stephen Dury, director of innovation, Santander UK, said: “It’s fantastic that the launch of the Fintech Pledge comes at a time when collaboration between financial services institutions and FinTechs is more important than ever in strengthening the UK’s position as a world-leading FinTech centre. Fintechs are key to driving innovation in the financial services sector, and by pledging to work collaboratively with them, we will be able to open up new services and bring greater choice to our customers. We already have a successful record in partnering and investing in FinTech and I look forward to building on this.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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