Second only to the US when it comes to the size and value of its fintech sector, the UK’s financial technology ecosystem is in good health. Around 2,500 fintech companies operate here, engaged in a wide variety of specialisms, across digital banking, regtech, insurtech, lending, payments, wealthtech and more.
London is the number one hub, with nine other clusters identified by the 2021 Kalifa Fintech Review. These include Manchester, Leeds, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Birmingham. 77 per cent of wealthtech businesses — including personal finance management and cryptocurrencies — are based in London.
Via the global talent visa, the government has enticed both international fintech firms and talent to move to the UK. That has contributed to a sector that is worth $13.4bn, and which employs more than 76,000 people.
Opportunity keeps on knocking. Artificial intelligence (AI), for example, represents a significant area for growth, with a 2022 study by PwC finding that 72 per cent of financial services professionals believe that AI will be the most significant technology to shape the industry in the next five years.
Both AI and machine learning (ML) can be used to provide more accurate and personalised risk assessments, fraud detection, and online chatbot services for advice and help.
Other factors spurring the fintech industry are the UK’s historical standing as a centre of financial services excellence, its educated workforce and an adoption of fintech products that is one of the highest globally. Revolut has reached 20 million customers, up from 2018’s two million, and Starling Bank is en route to three million users
A supportive regulatory environment exists, for example the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)’s regulatory sandbox, which is designed to to help fintech companies test their products and services in a controlled environment.
With emerging technologies comes a need for compliance and regulatory professionals. As a result, compliance as a whole is a significant area of growth, and there are areas within this specialism that are seeing additional growth.
Monitoring and assurance, financial crime — particularly around anti-money laundering, sanctions (for example those imposed on Russia in response to the war in Ukraine) — and regulatory affairs and development are areas particularly worth looking at.
Whether you want to move into the compliance regulatory space, or are seeking a new career opportunity in an area you already work in, there are plenty of opportunities to check out on the Information Age Job Board, like the three below.
Head of banking 1st line compliance – product compliance, Starling Bank, London
This Head of banking 1st line compliance – product compliance position provides an opportunity to lead the development of Starling’s policies to support customers. You will be responsible for providing oversight on T&Cs/legal documentation for both new product launches and changes to existing products, as well as take responsibility for providing compliance oversight on new product development and supporting ongoing compliance of the Consumer Duty. You’ll manage and ensure timely responses to official queries and engagements, ensuring internal coordination and oversight.
To apply, you’ll have knowledge of the UK Banking Vulnerable Customer Regulatory regime, and will be passionate about delivering excellent customer outcomes. This is a critical role, requiring strong diligence, expert knowledge and good relationships. Find out more about the job here.
Vice-president – compliance officer – Citi Global Wealth – ESG, Citi, London
Citi is seeking a product compliance officer for its Citi Global Wealth (CGW) investments business in EMEA under independent compliance risk management (ICRM). You’ll be responsible for assisting with internal strategies, policies, procedures, processes, and programs to prevent violations of law, rule, or regulation, with a particular focus on ESG and design. You will deliver a risk management framework that maintains risk levels within the firm’s risk appetite and protects the franchise.
You’ll need a strong understanding of investment products and services, and a strong understanding of ESG, and knowledge of compliance laws, rules, regulations, risks and typologies with a particular focus on ESS and sustainability is necessary. If you’re a self-starter, flexible, innovative and adaptive, apply for this role now.
Internal audit manager – financial crime, conduct and compliance, Monzo, London
Monzo’s is looking for an internal audit manager to be responsible for audit delivery across financial crime, conduct and compliance. You’ll be responsible for planning, scoping and execution of financial crime, conduct and compliance audits, and one-off targeted change programme reviews.
To be considered, you will need a proven track record of identifying, assessing and evaluating risks and controls, advising business stakeholders from a risk perspective, while also understanding the commercial view. A relevant qualification, e.g. CIA, ACAMS, ICA Diploma and CRCM, is needed, and you should have a good understanding of the Institute of Internal Audit Standards, plus strong financial crime, conduct and compliance knowledge from prior regulatory experience, or from within a financial institution. See all the requirements for this role here.
Kirstie McDermott works for our job board partner, Jobbio. Based in Dublin, she has been a writer and editor across print and digital platforms for over 15 years.
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