Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Tandem Bank, PayPal, Zettle, Provenir and Vacancysoft.
Jeremy Hunt urges the FCA to look into ‘debanking’ scandal
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has called for an inquiry from UK financial regulator, Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to urgently investigate whether banks are involved in barring politicians from accounts on a widespread basis, known as the ‘debanking’ of politicians.
Hunt wrote to Nikhil Rahti, chief executive of the FCA, about his concerns; which was followed by a reply from the regulator explaining it is currently unclear how widespread a practice it is, but said it had been looking at the data.
Wayne Johnson, CEO and co-founder of Encompass Corporation, gave his take on the debacle: “As the Chancellor calls for an urgent investigation into whether banks are going against regulations by ‘debanking’ for unlawful reasons, this underlines that it is more critical now than ever for financial institutions to utilise technology-driven processes to ensure they are acting based on facts, presented by live, authoritative publicly available data. This will ensure they are not only mitigating risk and keeping up with regulatory demands, but are able to do so most efficiently.”
Tandem Bank ups interest on savings accounts
Tandem Bank, the UK’s greener digital bank, has increased its instant access savings accounts to exactly five per cent (inclusive of the Top Up) following the Bank of England interest rate hike announced last week.
The bank has been building its savings product offering over the past year and was named Savings Champion’s Best App-Based Savings Provider in December 2022.
Alex Mollart, CEO of Tandem Bank, commented: “With interest rates continuing to rise, we’re looking after our customers by raising the rates.
“Hopefully, this will be a prompt for all to review where they hold their savings. At Tandem we look to support banking for a greener future with customers’ savings supporting green lending and initiatives.”
PayPal and Zettle launch Tap to Pay on iPhone
Payments giant PayPal has made ‘Tap to Pay’ on iPhone available for Zettle by PayPal customers in the UK.
The new functionality which is available to any Zettle by PayPal user in the UK with a compatible iPhone. enables customers to use their iPhone to accept contactless payments in-person, without needing to purchase additional hardware.
Vincent Belloc, managing director of PayPal UK, commented: “Contactless payments are becoming second nature to British consumers. In fact, more than 90 per cent of Zettle by PayPal UK transactions are contactless.
“With Tap to Pay on iPhone, we are providing millions of Zettle by PayPal users in the UK with access to a more efficient way to help drive sales and offer their customers greater choice and convenience.”
Digital skills becoming increasingly valuable in the UK job market
Digital skills are becoming increasingly in demand across the UK employment market with data analysis now required for one in nine jobs in 2023; a new report by recruitment specialists Robert Walters and market intelligence firm Vacancysoft has revealed.
The report also shows that new tech job roles in London increased by 10 per cent in June and 26 per cent in May. Surprisingly, social media skills were mentioned less frequently – featuring in just three per cent of job postings in 2022 (down from five per cent in 2020).
Oliver Sidwell, co-founder of RateMyApprenticeship, discussed the findings: “Whilst it was interesting to see the common digital skills being required of apprentice applicants, the research also highlighted where industries aren’t tapping into key skills of those at apprenticeship age.
“In 2022, zero per cent of our job listings discussed content marketing/creation, email marketing, web development, e-commerce skills or SEM. That leaves masses of untapped skills and talent many apprenticeship students will already have a foundational knowledge of that could be used and grown within key industries.”
Provenir finds new larger London office following growth
Provenir, the AI-powered risk decisioning software provider, has moved to a new larger office located in London in response to continuous growth in the UK.
The company revealed it experienced a 138 per cent growth in its London team, thanks to the continuous acquisition of new customers in the UK and throughout Europe.
Frode Berg, managing director of Europe at Provenir, explained the decision: “We have seen a real surge in demand for our credit risk decisioning solutions in recent years.
“In times of uncertainty such as these, where consumers face a heightened need for credit and financial institutions adopt a more cautious lending approach, advanced AI-powered decisioning tools play a crucial role in navigating uncertainties and facilitating informed lending decisions.”