The UK remains at the forefront of the fintech sector, establishing itself as the fintech unicorn capital of Europe. Representing the UK fintech sector, Innovate Finance has launched the International FinTech Group to continue strengthening the UK’s position.
The International FinTech Group will drive action across the UK fintech sector to solidify its position as a global leader in financial innovation and follows the publication of the Kalifa Review of UK fintech in 2021.
The Group will convene for a period of 12 months to increase collaboration across the sector on initiatives which strengthen the UK’s standing as a global leader in fintech. Innovate Finance and the Department for International Trade (DIT) will co-chair the Group.
The Group will bring together organisations from across industry and government with a joint desire to ensure that the UK FinTech ecosystem continues to grow. It will deliver initiatives that promote the UK FinTech sector in key international markets, and build awareness of existing and planned trade agreements, frameworks, and available support – ensuring the benefits of these initiatives are realised for all regions and nations of the UK.
Its key objectives for the next 12 months include the creation and publication of a UK fintech trade and investment brand that expands on the DIT “Made in Britain” campaign; the creation of a dynamic portfolio of more than 20 UK fintech case studies, with a focus on those that have achieved success in overseas markets; and ensuring more than 20 UK fintechs participate in FTA calls-for-input and consultations.
The first meeting of the new Group – which includes notable firms such as Revolut, Klarna and Checkout.com – will take place next month.
The forming of the IFG comes as a direct output of the Kalifa Review, which put forward a number of recommendations on international attractiveness and competitiveness and called for a greater effort to capitalise of the UK’s fintech ‘opportunity’.
The IFG will continue the work begun by the Kalifa Review, convening government and senior industry stakeholders to build a unified approach for the international promotion of UK fintech.
It will harness the sector’s combined efforts on fintech exports and investment, ensuring the execution of strategic opportunities and relationships with key international markets and partners –and in turn maximising UK fintech’s global impact.
Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance, commented, “A year on from the Kalifa Review, important steps are being taken to further advance and strengthen the UK’s world-leading fintech sector and implement the report’s recommendations. The international focus was a core part of the Review, and I’m delighted that we are collaborating with the DIT to bring this key initiative to life.
“The IFG will be central to the work we do to promote our UK fintech sector internationally, with the aim to boost global cooperation and trade relations. Bringing industry and government together will help us better represent our great sector on a global scale, and cement fintech as an important international asset for the UK.”
Minister for investment Gerry Grimstone said, “The UK is a world leader in the fintech sector, thanks to our highly-skilled and creative workforce, fair regulatory system and ease of doing business.
“So, I welcome the formation of the International FinTech Group, which will ensure that the sector continues to have a voice overseas as we strike trade deals with countries across the world, breaking down barriers and opening up markets for our cutting-edge companies – not least in our leading fintech sector.”
Alex Marsh, head of Klarna UK, commented, “Fintechs in Britain are disrupting the traditional banks from all directions, delivering better products, consumer experiences and building on capabilities like open banking faster than any other country. As we put the pandemic behind us, we have a unique opportunity to cement the UK’s future as the global fintech leader by embedding stronger links with fintech hubs around the world and continuing to deliver on products, services and regulation which benefit consumers, not banks.”
Jess Houlgrave, chief of staff at Checkout.com, added, “International expansion has been a central part of Checkout.com’s scaling journey. From our strong foundations in the UK, we’ve built a truly global business – and through our 19 offices around the world, we’re enabling other UK fintechs to do the same. There’s a huge opportunity to make the UK the first choice for founders and a launchpad for all fintechs to go global. I look forward to driving this agenda forward through the International FinTech Group.”