Every Wednesday, we delve into the latest fintech updates from across the UK. This week brings updates from Zopa Bank, WealthKernel, Starling Bank and more.
Zopa Bank raises minimum salary by 20%
UK fintech unicorn Zopa bank has raised its entry-level minimum salaries more than 20 per cent to £27,000. The company also provided an additional winter bonus of £500 for all people on salaries less than £50k.
The London-based bank looked to respond to the cost of living crisis by raising its base salary for all employees. The bank adds to its generous offerings to employees including 16-week gender-neutral parental leave, 15-day bereavement leave, flexible bank holidays and more.
Zopa employees can also work from abroad for up to 120 days a year. The bank also proactively recommends 13 locations to fast-track moving as a digital nomad including Spain, Portugal, and Greece.
City of London Corporation looks to boost socio-economic diversity
The City of London Corporation (CLC) is to lead an independent task force to boost socio-economic diversity in the UK financial and professional services sectors.
HM Treasury and the department for business, energy and industrial strategy commissioned the task force in response to a CLC report which found that only 36 per cent of senior leadership positions were held by people from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
David W. Duffy, CEO and co-founder of the Corporate Governance Institute, explained the need for action: “Diversity is not just a moral goal to ensure fairness and representation; it is an essential part of good governance. Only when a multitude of voices exists in the halls of economic or political power can we truly prepare for all outcomes.”
UK delegates urge ‘international response’ to financial crime
UK ministers and delegates from the UK have urged for a worldwide approach to tackling financial crime at the International Anti-Corruption Conference.
Delegates called for international cooperation, investment, and transparency at the Washington D.C. conference. His Majesty’s Ambassador to the US Karen Pierce and minister of state for security Tom Tugendhat led the speeches. The likes of Maia Sandu, the president of Moldova and David Malpass, the president of the World Bank Group, were also present.
Tom Tugendhat, spoke on measures taken by the UK while stressing the importance of an international response. He said: “Our new legislation, and the upcoming publication of our Anti-Corruption Strategy and UK Economic Crime Plan, means we will continue to take tough action against those who seek to threaten our way of life. The threat posed by transnational corruption, however, requires a global response.”
tendy selects WealthKernel to provide investment infrastructure
WealthKernel, a wealthtech provider of digital investment services, has partnered with tendy, an educational investment platform for UK teens.
tendy is to use WealthKernel’s core investing infrastructure, which offers trading and custody services, fractional stocks and ETFs, client onboarding (KYC), and access to different account types.
Karan Shanmugarajah, CEO of WealthKernel, explained the need for the partnership. Shanmugarajah said: “Financial literacy is critical for children to understand how to save and also invest money in life for a better future. The aim is to encourage discussion around the way we manage money. A key focus is enabling children and young people to develop good money habits.”
Starling Bank launches virtual cards and Manchester office
Starling Bank has launched virtual cards for its personal current account customers and updated its spending insights. The newest features look to help people track their spending more easily and provide greater budget visibility.
The virtual card works like a normal debit card for payments but is linked to a Saving Space in the Starling app, instead of the main account balance.
Helen Bierton, chief banking officer at Starling Bank, said: “Our customers asked for virtual cards and we’ve delivered. Virtual cards allow people to completely compartmentalise their personal finances for better control of their spending. They also make it easier to stick to budgets.”
The UK fintech challenger bank is also recruiting for up to 1,000 new jobs, as it plans to open its fourth UK office in Manchester in 2023.