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Government launches UK fintech strategy

Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced a new government strategy and specialist taskforce to boost Britain’s growing fintech market.

Speaking at the International Fintech Conference, the chancellor said the plans are aimed at making it “faster and easier” for British fintech firms to comply with regulations and expand internationally.

The government’s first Fintech Sector Strategy includes a so-called “crypto-assets” task force, which will bring together the Treasury, the Bank of England and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

It is aimed at helping Britain to be at the “forefront of harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology, while guarding against potential risks”, claimed the Chancellor.

Hammond has also announced a string of new “robo-regulation” schemes, which will use software solutions to help financial services comply with the rules. He said they will help companies save time and money.

Over the next few months, the government will also appoint three regional fintech envoys, who will “ensure the benefits of fintech are felt across the UK”.

Fintech firms will be exposed to a string of new industry standards, too. The government claims will help them form partnerships with banks.

Aimed at both established and emerging fintech firms, the strategy will give them the tools to “provide complex financial services” and to “grow their businesses and reach new customer”.

There will be structures in place to ensure that the financial industry can work with the government “to shared platforms”. The latter will “remove the barriers that these firms face in setting up new systems”, said the government.

Companies will get access to a scheme called Connect with Work as well. Developed by the Fintech Delivery Panel, it will “help fintech firms to take advantage of the UK’s diverse workforce”.

“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 Phillip Hammond.

He continued: “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 crypto-assets, as well as harnessing the potential benefits of the underlying technology.”

At the conference, Hammond will sign a “fintech bridge agreement” with his Australian counterpart to “open up a new important market for UK fintech firms wanting to expand internationally by selling their products and services in Australia”.

Digital and Culture Secretary Matt Hancock added: “We are determined to make Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business while giving consumers more choice when it comes to managing their money.

“This new nationwide fintech programme will help startups right across the country flourish in the future and spread the benefits of this pioneering technology.”

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