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In Conversation: Ron Kalifa OBE at Fintech Week London

Fintech Week London took place in July as the first live in-person fintech event since the pandemic. Over the course of five days, the industry’s key players came together to discuss all things fintech, from open banking to digital ID and cryptocurrency to collaboration.  During the event, The Fintech Times spoke to Ron Kalifa OBE, Chairman, Network International and author of the recent Kalifa Fintech Review, after his keynote on open banking to find out more about his revolutionary industry review. 

“I think fintech has been a growing phenomenon for some time, but despite that, it is still largely misunderstood,” Kalifa said.  “To many, it’s about rapid startup growth caricatured here in the UK by app developers, to others it’s about digitising analogue content, digital current accounts provided by established incumbent financial institutions.

“But these versions of fintech underplay the impact technological disruption can have.”

To watch the interview in full, click here.

When asked about the fintech review launched earlier this year, he said: “I was keen to lead the review because I think fintech is still, in particular here in the UK, not yet fulfilling its transformational potential.

“It was a daunting task to try and think about a strategy and delivery model for a sector that we’re already leading the world in. It was a review that looked at the whole dimension of the sector. We looked at investment, we looked at skills, we looked at internationalisation – it was a very wide-reaching activity. However I think the outcome has been fantastic, it has been really well received, not just by the Fintech population and community, but also by the government who have implemented and progressing on so many of the recommendations, so I’m thrilled with the outcome.”

When asked if there was anything he found that surprised him, Kalifa said: “I did find it quite staggering how significant apart fintech is, and in many ways, it will be representing the future of financial services for the UK. We have a leadership position here in the UK and I think many didn’t realise how strong a player we really are. The amount of investment that’s coming into the UK is also very significant, and that was a pleasant surprise for many.”

Finally, in terms of whether future reviews of the UK fintech industry will be needed, Kalifa said:  “The reality is that this work is hopefully the bedrock of our strategy for the sector on UK stage and a modern global stage. So I think it sets us up. Right now, there’s no need for another piece of work, if it is then it means we haven’t covered it properly, so I’d hope that we’ve covered it in the right way.”

To watch the interview in full, click here.

Author

  • Polly is a journalist, content creator and general opinion holder from North Wales. She has written for a number of publications, usually hovering around the topics of fintech, tech, lifestyle and body positivity.

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