Philip Hammond

Philip Hammond launches fintech sector strategy

A new cryptoassets task force and a UK-Australia fintech bridge have been announced by chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond as part of the government's fintech sector strategy.

Speaking yesterday (22nd March) at the government’s second International Fintech Conference, Mr Hammond also announced the next steps in robo-regulation to make it faster and easier for fintech firms to follow complex regulations.

The fintech sector strategy will include:

  • a cryptoassets task force consisting of HM Treasury, the Bank of England and the FCA. This will help the UK to be at the forefront of harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology, while guarding against potential risks
  • ‘Robo-regulation’ pilot schemes to help new fintech firms – and the financial services industry more widely – comply with regulations by building software which would automatically ensure they follow the rules, saving them time and money
  • appointing three new fintech regional envoys to ensure the benefits of fintech are felt across the UK
  • creating a set of industry standards which will enable fintech firms to more easily partner with existing banks
  • helping new, small fintech firms to provide complex financial services and thereby grow their businesses and reach new customers. Industry and government will work together to create ‘shared platforms’, which will help remove the barriers that these firms face in setting up new systems
  • a connect with work programme developed by the government’s fintech delivery panel to help fintech firms to take advantage of the UK’s diverse workforce.

The conference also claimed that the signing of a new fintech bridge between the UK and Australia would open up an important market for UK firms wishing to expand internationally and help the countries to harmonise policies across a range of issues relevant to fintech and increase regulatory cooperation.

“From the Square Mile in London to Scotland’s Silicon Glen, the UK leads the world in harnessing the power of fintech as we create an economy fit for the future,” said Mr Hammond.

“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.

“As part of that, a new task force will help the UK to manage the risks around cryptoassets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology.”

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