Innovate Finance criticises gov progress on FinTech strategy

Innovate Finance has criticised what it describes as a lack of action from the government on creating a cohesive strategy for the FinTech industry following recommendations from the Kalifa review.

In February, Ron Kalifa published his independent review of UK FinTech, commissioned by UK Treasury ministers.

The report, which saw contributions from across the FinTech sector contained actions for government, regulators, and industry, focusing on five key areas: policy and regulation, skills, international, national, and investment.

Innovate Finance, the independent not-for-profit industry body representing the UK FinTech sector, said that it is still waiting for a government regulatory roadmap for cryptocurrencies. It did point out that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) had taken some regulatory action against individual firms and extended the deadline for initial temporary crypto Anti-Money Laundering authorisations.

Innovate Finance’s Adam Jackson said there has been “very limited” progress on introducing Open Finance - extending Open Banking to other areas of financial services.

The director of policy added that the main regulation recommendation that has been missed out so far has been a FinTech strategy.

The Kalifa review recommended a government task force to join up and develop a single, cohesive strategy. But Jackson claimed that UK FinTech firms are still facing a "barrage" of different officials and organisations.

“My colleagues and I mapped the areas of live regulatory work that has significant impact on the competitiveness of UK FinTech and it is an alphabet soup of Government departments and regulators: Treasury, DCMS, BEIS, DIT, DfE, Innovate UK, British Business Bank, Home Office, CMA, ICO, FCA, PRA and multiple teams within these,” he wrote. “Some issues, such as data-led innovation, for example, intertwine departments across separate projects on smart data, open finance and digital ID.

“The sheer breadth and quantity of government and regulator work affecting FinTech requires greater coordination to maximise opportunities and support competitiveness.”

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